The BBC claims it is revolutionising the way it broadcasts TV, by allowing licence fee payers to schedule their own viewing.
In a flagship address at the Radio Theatre of BBC Broadcasting House today BBC director general Lord Hall unveiled the new iPlayer service which he said will enable viewers to access content before it is broadcast at a time to suit them.
The more “personalised” new generation iPlayer will have a 30 day catch-up window – subject to approval by the BBC Trust – as opposed to the current seven day shelf-life for streaming shows. The new version of the service, which is not understood to have a launch date yet, will also be home to its own channels containing content specially created for online viewing.
In his first major speech since returning to the Corporation in April, Hall said the new service would put the viewer at the centre of the watching experience and is a crucial part of his vision for a new kind of BBC that treats the licence fee payers as “owners” of the Corporation.
Promising a more simply run BBC, he also announced a range of event programming, including a pledge to fully digitise the entire BBC Shakespeare archive, making all content elligible under existing rights deals available for free to those in education and learning in the UK.
He said: "As we head towards our centenary in 2022 I want us to be much more confident about the mission Lord Reith gave us a hundred years before. Still confidently informing, educating and entertaining, but in a much more personalised way. I want a BBC that everyone can be proud of, whose best days lie ahead of it.”
Speaking of the more bespoke service the BBC will offer, Hall added: "I want the BBC of the future to have a much closer relationship with audiences. We should be treating them like owners not just as licence fee payers. People should not be saying ‘the BBC’, but ‘my BBC’, ‘our BBC.’
“Our audiences demand to be involved and expect to participate. In the future they will talk to us and we will listen.”