Welcome! This blog is about the new RadioTimes.com. It’s the place where we’ll explain the decisions we’ve made about the new website, respond to your feedback and let you know about all the exciting things in the pipeline.
The site is still in beta at the moment, which means we’re still putting the finishing touches to and polishing up version one. What you see now is very much the beginning of the new Radio Times digital presence. Over the coming months we’ll be listening to your feedback, refining and improving the web offer and starting to roll out to other platforms such as mobile (including iPhone and Android), tablets and TVs.
Following in the rich tradition of being first – Radio Times was the world’s first radio listings guide and launched way back in 1923 – the Radio Times website was one of the first TV guides on the web and launched 14 years ago in 1997. Over the last few years, the site has started to show its age, so when we began the task of redeveloping it last autumn, we decided that we needed to start again from scratch.
The new site is designed to provide us with a foundation for the future and embrace the changing nature of TV and digital entertainment. Whereas the old site was based firmly around listings, with a page for every broadcast slot, the new site is also focused on programmes, episodes and films. There’s a page for each, telling you next time it’s on TV, when it’s repeated, where you can find it on demand, where you can buy a download or even when it’s on at your local cinema.
The old site told you what our critics thought was the best TV on tonight. The new site does this but it also learns about what you like and don’t like and gives recommendations specifically for you. We’re still tuning these but we hope over the next few months that these will become an invaluable means of discovery. We’ll also show you the programmes that are most talked about at the moment and soon we’ll also allow you to share the programmes you follow with your friends that also use the site.
We’re also beefing up the editorial package and will be publishing news, pictures and videos every hour. All this will be tagged so that it appears on programme and film pages making it easy for you to find out what’s going on with your favourites.
We still have the listings grid, which we’ve made easier to use and included additional things like photos. We’ll be improving this over the next few months and providing you with the tools to customise it further. For the time being, we haven’t included the list view. We discovered that only a tiny number of users used this view and so we haven’t replaced it. If we find that there is a demand for this feature then we’ll rebuild it. Apologies if you are one of those people who liked this view.
We’ve also introduced a new feature that we think is really cool and we hope will make the site addictively useful: you can now “follow” your favourite programmes and films by pressing the “follow” button around the site. This will create a personal watchlist that shows you when your favourites are next on TV and where they are available on demand. Follow your favourites and you’ll never have to spend time planning your evening’s viewing again. Soon we’ll also let you follow your favourite people, and you’ll be able to see every time they are next on TV or where you can watch them on demand.
We also intend to extend the functionality of the watchlist with things like alerts, remote record and other features that will help ensure you never miss a thing.
We hope you like what we’ve made. Starting from scratch has meant that we’ve had to rebuild everything so there are a few things that we’ve still not managed to do yet. But we’re at a point where we think we’ve done most of the important stuff and we want you to start using the site so we can prioritise the next work based on the feedback we get. Feel free to let us know what you think using the red feedback tab that appears on every page.
We’ll be writing a number of blog entries on various topics that we think people want to know about. If you have a suggestion for one, please let us know. We hope you enjoy the new RadioTimes.com
Matt is responsible for the development of the new RadioTimes.com