The BBC may soon let you binge watch a show on iPlayer before it hits TV
The BBC wants iPlayer to be the top online TV service in the country by 2020, and is considering taking dramatic steps in order to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
Currently, shows are available to stream and download after they have aired for a strict viewing window. One possible option being considered by BBC bosses is allowing entire series to be downloaded before they’re shown on TV, allowing viewers to binge-view a box set in the same way they can on its streaming rivals.
While the BBC has experimented with online-first programmes (Peter Kay’s Car Share, for example), this would be a dramatic change to the fairly rigid way iPlayer has worked in the past.
The plans come as the BBC enters a new charter period, and the director-general Lord Hall is due to address staff soon. “iPlayer was the biggest revolution of the last charter. Now we need it to make the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right,” Hall is due to say.
“Our goal, even in the face of rapid growth by our competitors, is for iPlayer to be the number-one online TV service in the UK.”
Alongside the possibility of binge-watching entire shows before they’re broadcast, the corporation will be investigating how AI and voice recognition can boost the services it provides.