BBC iPlayer is preparing to go toe to toe with the video on demand (VOD) giant, Netflix. The media streaming service says it plans to revamp itself by 2020 with the intention of taking over the top spot among UK’s online TV services. Discussing the new changes, BBC’s Director General Tony Hall told staff that he wanted the BBC to “reinvent public broadcasting for a new generation” and described iPlayer as “the biggest revolution of the last charter” and stressed its need to increase its reach.
He also went on to express the need in “mak[ing] the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right.”
Tom Williams, Chief Executive at Ostmodern, a company that works with leading media brands to define product strategies and develop innovative solutions, commented on the potential rebirth of iPlayer, “BBC iPlayer is a great example of the success broadcasters can find in VoD. Putting new content online first is a logical next step, but there’s already a huge amount of TV content out there [. . .] giving viewers more control over what they want to watch and putting out entire series in one go is sometimes effective, but isn’t always necessarily helpful without the right approach to manage it”
Williams went on to explain just how important the need for greater curation, stronger editorial needs, and the importance of staying current were to the overall success of iPlayer,
“This points to the need for greater curation, together with a better approach to how we manage VoD services, to take into account the real-world factors which have an impact on what we choose to watch. Consider, for example, how a flexible VoD product could have responded to the number of captivating global events in 2016, stitching together archived films, interviews, news content, and discussions about that event in a way that was timely and engaging for viewers,” Williams explained, “In this respect, strong editorial needs to be at the heart of the next generation of VoD. Editorial teams need to be set up with the right workflows to put together content collections to move the viewer beyond their first motivation and keep them interested.”
Hopefully by sticking to these guidelines BBC’s iPlayer just might reach its goal of becoming the number one online TV service in the UK, despite rapid growth by its competitors.