The BBC's iPlayer video on demand service is hugely popular, allowing users to catch up on their favourite TV and radio shows after they've aired. However, it seems the broadcaster will soon start making shows available on iPlayer before they're even aired. BBC Three announced this week that viewers will be able to catch BBC Three scripted comedies a week before they are broadcast on television.
The broadcaster's first iPlayer premier will be at the end of August and will see season two of Bad Education made available to watch via iPlayer seven days before it airs on TV. The move is part of the BBC's efforts to showcase more content within iPlayer and use the service to maximise exposure of its own programming. Victoria Jaye, Head of BBC TV Content Online and IPTV, said that a large portion of users visit iPlayer without anything specific in mind in terms of entertainment and over a third are willing to try new content.
"This presents a fantastic opportunity to use BBC iPlayer as a complementary platform to schedule broadcast programmes in new ways, and innovate with content that showcases fresh UK talent," Jayne said in a statement. "We’re incredibly excited to see how audiences respond to premiering BBC Three scripted comedies on BBC iPlayer, and to our separate trial to premiere a small number of programmes from other BBC channels."
Launched on December 25 four years ago, the BBC's iPlayer allows viewers to catch up on the last seven days of their favourite BBC TV and radio shows for free. Until 2011, the service was restricted to users in the UK because the cost is covered by the UK's television license fees. In 2011, the broadcaster took the service overseas with the launch of Global iPlayer for iPad users in Europe. Covering classic and current TV shows, a subscription costs €7 per month or €49.99 for a full year. At the end of 2011, Australians, Scandinavians and Canadian were also granted access.