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bbc iplayer recommendations

The BBC is reinventing its iPlayer service, with binge-watching, artificial intelligence and voice control all on the way.

The new features will aim to make the service the number one online TV service in the UK by 2020. They were set out by BBC director-general Tony Hall in a speech to staff in Birmingham.

He said that the service would soon let viewers download entire drama series to binge-watch before they air on TV. That means you could binge yourself silly on 'Poldark' or 'War and Peace' before some people have even seen the opening credits.

Streaming services Amazon Prime Video and Netflix generally let viewers binge-watch shows, though some – like 'The Grand Tour' – still air in weekly instalments.

It wouldn't be the first time the BBC has debuted shows on iPlayer before bringing them to its terrestrial channels. It allowed 'Peter Kay's Car Share' and supernatural thriller 'The Living and the Dead' onto iPlayer before being shown on regular TV.

In order for iPlayer to become the UK's biggest online TV service by 2020, it will need to double its viewing figures.

Recently, it was announced that from this year, anyone who watches BBC iPlayer will require a login. It's thought this is in order to close the iPlayer loophole, which lets people without a licence fee watch BBC shows for free through iPlayer.

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