iPlayer Will Be Bigger Than Netflix, Says BBC Director General

By Holly Brockwell on at

The BBC's Director General, Tony Hall, will be telling his staff today that iPlayer has to double its user numbers by the year 2020, with the aim of becoming the UK's top online TV service - above even Netflix.

iPlayer is already the UK's biggest video-on-demand service, but that's not enough for Hall. "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," reports the Evening Standard, "That will mean doubling our reach, and quadrupling the time each person spends on it every week. And we want do it by 2020. That’s tough, but I know we can do it."

Formally known as Baron Hall of Birkenhead, the Director General took up the post in November 2012, becoming the 16th person to lead the corporation and taking home a salary of £450,000. Despite concerns that he might be "too nice" for the role, his three-decade career at the BBC - including launching Radio 5 live and BBC News 24 - stood him in good stead for the role, and he's made his fair share of shake-ups in that time.

Today's announcement will include a focus on adding new technology to iPlayer, said to include artificial intelligence and voice recognition - a move likely modelled on Amazon's competing TV service. Similarly, Netflix-style personalisation is apparently on the cards. If this means recommending us a bit of comedy after the 10 o'clock "everything is terrible" newsflash, we're in. [Evening Standard]

Photo: BBC