Following the recent announcement that BBC3 could be axed as an on-air channel, the iPlayer is in the process of re-inventing itself for the occasion. The axing has come as a shock to many, not to mention the numerical nightmare as to whether BBC4 will remain named BBC4, leaving a gaping hole where Three once was. On a positive note however, the revamped iPlayer is creating a space for the tech-savvy audience.
So what will be changing? With the introduction of services like Netflix and Sky-on-Demand, the BBC is stepping up its game. The ability to personalise your schedule is on the cards for iPlayer, allowing them to whisk viewers away from competition for the entire evening. It will be even easier to watch too, as you will be able to switch seamlessly between several devices mid-programme, not to mention the new 30-day catch-up for those moments you somehow missed.
Another feature is ‘pop-up TV channels’ for broadcasting one-off festivals and events; basically what BBC3 did on TV, but online. A final feature which seems suspiciously similar to Netflix is that the BBC will be creating original productions for iPlayer, so instead of just being catch-up they will be an on-demand service too. Could this mean an increase in the licence fee to cover costs?
Ultimately the BBC is attempting to retreat from its place as traditional broadcaster by creating a sleeker next-gen iPlayer. Programmes will even be available on iPlayer prior to broadcasting, blurring the boundaries between television and internet.