BBC to revamp iPlayer

BBC Director-General Tony Hall has said the corporation needs to reinvent its on-demand iPlayer service to make the leap from a catch-up service to a “must-visit” destination in its own right in the face of rapid growth by its competitors such as Netflix.

In a wide-ranging New Year message to BBC staff on ‘Reinventing the BBC for a new generation’, Hall described 2017 as a particularly important one “because it’s year one of our 11-year charter. It’s a great moment: the beginning of a new chapter”.

According to Hall, the start of a new Charter is a critical moment. “It’s the chance to set our sights high for the next 11 years, to mobilise the whole of the BBC behind a really clear, really ambitious goal,” he declared.

“So, this is my challenge: over the next few years, I want us to reinvent public service broadcasting for a new generation. Now, let me say straight away: this does not mean somehow forsaking our existing audiences – that would be stupid. As I’ve said many times before, we have to ride two horses: doing brilliant things on our existing channels and services, but also innovating in the digital space,” he said. “Our task therefore is to reinvent public service broadcasting so that it works for all audiences, so that everyone gets value from the BBC.”

He noted that audiences continue to value what the BBC does. “In fact, they value it more than ever. And – Ofcom’s research shows – young people value public service broadcasting as much as all of us – a really crucial point to remember. But if young people value what we do, reaching them is a whole different matter. In fact, it’s one of the single biggest strategic issues we now face,” he admitted, because there is so much competition for their time.

“Increasingly, younger audiences and older audiences are consuming media in different ways. So we have to respond. I think the second big issue is that the media landscape has changed beyond recognition. It is hugely more global and more competitive. We’re now in an environment where Amazon, Netflix, and others are willing to invest huge amounts of money with no certain return in an attempt to capture market share where Facebook is looking at commissioning its own TV programmes, and Twitter is buying up sports rights and where moves such as the Fox-Sky merger are making the very biggest players even bigger,” he observed.

… read on at

Originally posted by Colin Mann at Advanced Television
11th January 2017