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October 7, 2013

BBC iPlayer to rival Netflix

Radio One to get its own video channel as part of iPlayer make-over.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

The BBC’s online catch-up service, iPlayer, is already a popular tool, used online and on digital TV to watch any missed programmes across the BBC’s channels and stream radio content online.

iPlayer has more than 240million hits a month at present, and changes to the service could mean that it attracts even more traffic.

The next generation of iPlayer should be up and running by Christmas, a prime time for television viewing, and will allow viewers to customize their viewing by selecting their favorite programmes to appear on their homepage.

Director-general Tony Hall wants to steer the broadcasting service in a more digital direction by embracing a personalied iPlayer that can compete with other on demand services like Netfllix.

Netflix has over 1.5million UK subscribers, and counting, as one of the only ways to (legally) watch the popular series Breaking Bad and as exclusive host of Kevin Spacey’s drama House of Cards.

The new iPlayer will also feature a video channel for Radio One. The channel will show exclusive performances and interviews. The news comes in the wake of Radio One’s string of successful hits on its YouTube channel in the last month. A Zane Lowe interview with Kanye West attracted more than 3million views and videos of artists performing in the Live Lounge as part of even more music month have been very popular.

Other video features such as interviews by DJs on the show and games like Innuendo Bingo that are usually broadcast live from the webcams in the studio to the sites websites but currently have no catch-up service.

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The service will be available on all platforms from television to smartphones to facilitate everyone’s needs.

The BBC said that the radio station’s move marked a "giant step into a multimedia future" that it is hoped will mean Radio 1 will reach a larger audience of younger music fans.

The BBC is currently trying to target a younger listening audience in a campaign that saw Nick Grimshaw replace Chris Moyles last year as the host of the Breakfast Show. Radio One video clips’ biggest demographic are currently girls aged between 13 and 17 years, so this fits the demographic.

With a younger audience generally more active online and on video sites, it only makes sense that the broadcaster it looking to move online and into more visual mediums for its flagship radio station.

"I’m very excited about transforming Radio 1 from being just a radio station into being a full audio-visual channel," said the BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra boss, Ben Cooper. "Radio 1 has always pioneered innovative ideas and led the way in engaging with young people and this is another huge step in cementing that reputation."

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