The BBC is launching a public consultation on its plans to reinvent BBC iPlayer.
The beeb is pondering whether to make programmes available on the catch-up service for at least 12 months after their first transmission as well as introducing more box sets and content from the BBC archive.
These plans respond to audiences’ expectations, particularly younger viewers, who expect the BBC’s great programmes and box sets to be available for longer than 30 days.
The proposed improvements will also ensure that the BBC continues to deliver value for money for licence fee payers as it faces increased competition from US streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, alongside services such as ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play and Now TV all of whom can make their content available for much longer.
“We know that in the future BBC iPlayer will be the main way many people will want to watch the BBC. It already is for many younger viewers. These changes are about ensuring we continue to deliver value for money to licence fee payers – and meet expectations of viewers who want to watch full series whenever they choose to. It’s also important that regulation recognises that there should be a level playing field for public service broadcasters, to ensure British stories are being told for British audiences.” – Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content
The consultation is aimed at industry stakeholders and is the first formal step in the BBC publishing a Public Interest Test which is required under the Charter for Material Changes to the BBC’s UK Public Services.
The consultation closes on 15 February 2019. After which the BBC will consider stakeholders responses, before the BBC Board approves the Public Interest Test. Under consideration will be the proposals themselves; the public value within them and the potential impact on fair and effective competition that they may have.
The BBC expects to publish the Public Interest Test in Spring 2019. Ofcom will then complete a Competition Assessment, before making a decision on whether these changes can go ahead.