The BBC is introducing a raft of changes for its iPlayer catch-up and on-demand service in a bid to take on Netflix.
Chief among them is longer availability times for shows on catch-up. That means more BBC shows will be available to watch for longer, instead of the current 30-day window. In-house shows on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are available in perpetuity, so this is a smart move by the Beeb.
iPlayer is also aiming to become more of a destination, rather than just a way of watching shows that you’ve missed. For example, ahead of the new series of Luther, all four previous series were made available on iPlayer. Last year, the service made available the series Killing Eve ahead of its broadcast on terrestrial TV.
According to the BBC, the changes will help the service to better serve viewers.
“We all know that in the future BBC iPlayer will be the main way many people will want to watch the BBC. It is already for many younger viewers,” said Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content.
“These changes are about ensuring we continue to deliver value for money to licence fee payers – and meet expectations of viewers who want to watch full series whenever they choose to.
“It’s also important that regulation recognises that there should be a level playing field for public service broadcasters, to ensure British stories are being told for British audiences.”
These changes are part of a consultation that runs until 15th February.