BBC iPlayer Set for Yet Another Revamp

By Gavin Whenman on at

Not content with pissing off license fee payers with the unnecessary reworking of its online audio service into BBC Sounds, the BBC has revealed it is revamping its other major digital streaming platform, BBC iPlayer.

In a speech this week, Auntie’s director of content, Charlotte Moore, announced a fresh look and feel for the service that is bound to annoy vocal users in the first week and then be totally forgotten, as well as confirming that, following Ofcom's ruling in August, shows will be available by default for a year on the platform, rather than the current meagre 30-day window.

With iPlayer’s share of the UK streaming market declining drastically in the past few years, from 40 per cent down to 15 per cent, the BBC hopes this move will help it compete with US giants Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as Disney+ and Apple TV+, both of which are due to launch next month (although in the UK we’ll have to wait until next year before we can plug ourselves in to animated X-Men marathons).

As part of the relaunch, the Beeb plan to drop more boxsets, releasing all episodes of new series in one go, just as they did with Killing Eve’s second outing, and offer greater “personalisation” (i.e. recommendations you’ll ignore while hunting for the latest Ru Paul’s Drag Race).

No date has been set for the relaunch, but when it does the BBC hopes it will become the main way people watch its programmes, which doesn’t sound like great news for that Britbox subscription video service they’re supposedly fully behind.