The BBC has just taken an important step in the digitally oriented environment of today’s media consumption by launching a standalone mobile web and desktop app, the iPlayer Radio, after a three-month beta testing period.
With this new app you can browse through available radio stations. Using the Alarm Clock feature you can set a time to launch a station, and you can use the iPlayer Radio to access archived content.
“Strategically, there is an obvious overlap and potential connection with music providers,” stated Daniel Danker, GM, programmes and on-demand for the BBC. “There isn’t anything tangible right now, but we always have those conversations.”
For the moment, the player will not offer the possibility to download songs or other types of on demand content. Daniel Danker points out that currently 90% of all radio listening is live, with only 10% on demand, therefore they don’t think such a service would be what users actually want.
“Our next steps will be to make live radio more interactive, make it easier for people to enjoy the BBC’s vast audio archive and strengthen radio’s position as the number one place for discovering music in the UK,” said Mark Friend, Controller, Multiplatform and Interactive, BBC Audio & Music.
Another important taks for the next few months will be to make a smooth transition for the users of the existing iPlayer app to the new one.
BBC Worldwide also made an important announcement today, related to its creation of original channels on YouTube. Soon it will launch a new nature channel, and at the beginning of 2013 it will launch a “topical science channel” hosted by one of Top Gear’s stars, James May.
“BBC Worldwide is very excited about expanding our successful relationship with YouTube. Not only is it a place to distribute the best British content around the world it will, through our original content, be a place where we can experiment with new forms of creativity” said Daniel Heaf, EVP & Managing Director Digital at BBC Worldwide. We couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospects this brings our company, indies and audiences alike.”
Moreover, BBC Worldwide will be launching a selection of long-form programming for the first time in the UK and Canada, including the first episodes of EastEnders, classic comedy The Likely Lads, a selection from the BBC’s Shakespeare Collection and The Trials of Life and other dramas such as Campion and The Onedin Line.
The BBC employs a very large internal public relations team and largely does not use outsider agencies.