BBC iPlayer is set to offer radio downloads next year, following approval from the BBC Trust.
The catch-up service currently carries TV and radio programmes but only allows streaming of radio. Most TV programmes can be downloaded to a desktop computer or mobile device for later viewing while offline. In 2014 this service is to be replicated for radio.
Currently, those wishing to listen to BBC radio programmes can choose from a selection of podcasts, but only around 6% of BBC network radio programmes are available in this format. The expansion of iPlayer’s downloads will mean many more radio shows can be saved for later – although rights issues are still likely to prevent some music shows being available.
As with TV downloads, the new service would allow downloaded programmes to be stored on the user’s device for up to 30 days before they’re played.