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The BBC is at a crossroads in its history. Faced with government cuts and possible dismemberment, the corporation has set out a number of initiatives to stay relevant in the digital age. One of which is a kids' version of its iPlayer catch-up service, called BBC iPlay.

BBC director general Tony Hall calls iPlay a "single, online front door for children to the wealth of the whole BBC and our trusted partners".

According to the Beeb, it would only feature shows that are free of commercial influence that feeds 'pester-power'. So don't expect any shows featuring merchandise to make an appearance.

iPlay would provide a range of content for kids of all ages, so they could use it from an early age right up to young adulthood. That would differentiate it from the Beeb's current kiddies offerings, CBeebies and CBBC, which play to toddlers and young children respectively.

It would also include a range of interactive tools to help kids learn about animation, music, blogs, podcasts, coding, app development and 3D printing.

But it's not the only change suggested by the BBC. Hall said that when BBC Three becomes online-only it could include content from other sources, like newcomers and people from outside the TV world. He acknowledged the growth of rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

iPlayer could also include content from other sources like the National Theatre or Royal Opera House. Under the plans, streaming news could replace rolling news.

Other proposals mooted include a team of 100 public service reporters who would work with local newspapers, and a music discovery tool based on the current Playlister function.

The BBC will announce more plans before next year when its royal charter – which decides its remit and funding – is up for renewal.

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