BBC Sounds app for connected TVs
March 24, 2020
By Colin Mann
Music, radio and podcast fans can now enjoy over 80,000 hours of audio content on their connected TV with the launch of the BBC Sounds TV app.
The new TV app is being rolled out on YouView and Virgin Media devices immediately – and will launch on other TV platforms in the future.
During these very challenging times, the app will provide listeners with another way to access live and on demand radio from the BBC’s 18 national and 40 local stations, music mixes curated by experts, artists and special guests, and a wide range of award-winning podcasts.
BBC Sounds has more than 3 million weekly users, and the TV app will make listening at home even easier, particularly as almost 10 per cent of digital radio listening is done on the TV, equivalent to around 48 million hours per week. With the new TV app, users can choose to listen live to any of the BBC’s national radio stations and their local radio station, or pick up where they left off with the Peter Crouch podcast.
As with mobile and web, BBC Sounds on TV is a personalised experience. It offers recommendations based on previous listening, and lets people pick up where they left off with the Continue Listening feature, regardless as to whether they were previously listening on mobile, TV or online. Listeners can also find shows and mixes they’ve previously bookmarked on the web or mobile versions of Sounds.
The Sounds TV app also includes the ability to browse by category, making it easy to find True Crime podcasts, Hip Hop mixes or something to make you laugh in the Comedy category. Listeners are also in control of what they’re listening to – they can skip forward or rewind 20 seconds, and move to the previous or next episode.
The TV app shows you live track information when you’re listening to a live radio station and a full tracklist for all Sounds music mixes and on demand music radio shows. You can also see all available episodes for podcasts and previously broadcast radio shows. Listeners can also feel comfortable leaving their favourite show playing for hours, as the BBC Sounds TV app has a screen saver which protects listeners’ TVs from screen burn.
“BBC Sounds has over 80,000 hours of radio programmes, podcasts and music mixes so there’s a huge amount of choice for listeners,” noted Jonathan Wall, controller of BBC Sounds. “The new TV app is another way the BBC will be there for people through the current challenging times, giving listeners access to all of our brilliant audio through a few clicks of their TV remotes.”
“More so now than ever, we want our services to be available on whatever devices people want to access them on – and this is the natural next step in the development of BBC Sounds,” added Dan Taylor-Watt, director of product, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds. “We know lots of people listen to radio on the TV, and since Sounds is already the digital home for all audio from the BBC we’re really pleased to be bringing it into homes with a TV app. This launch is just the start, and we’re looking forward to the app being available on more connected TVs soon.”
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “The BBC has a wide range of radio stations and a fantastic collection of audio shows and podcasts that our customers will be able to access at a click of a button. The BBC Sounds app is the latest feature to be added to our TV platform which is giving our customers the most streamlined experience possible with all of their favourite content in one place.”
The BBC Sounds TV app will be rolling out from today on Virgin Media devices and YouView devices, including some Sony TVs, and is coming to some Samsung TVs later this week, plus many more connected TVs and devices in the coming weeks and months.
The BBC Sounds app is available to all Virgin Media customers that have a V6 box. Once customers access the app, all they have to do is simply register or use their existing BBC account.