iPlayer, one of the BBC’s most successful digital offerings is being developed as the broadcaster’s ‘fifth channel’ and will play a pivotal role in its future strategy. Current Director of Television, Danny Cohen, announced that a new Controller position was to be created within the company to ensure the iPlayer had a place up there with current channels BBC1, 2, 3 and 4.
Content of the iPlayer will be provided by BBC TV but other departments within the corporation would be used to develop the technology around the platform. iPlayer, the BBC’s free streaming and on demand platform recorded 272 million requests in March 2013 and averages daily traffic of around 8 million visits. Under the new plan, the BBC want to allow viewers access to some content online before it is broadcast and also offer some new ad hoc content such as Wimbledon coverage. Cohen said of the announcement:
BBC iPlayer is an increasingly important part of the way viewers enjoy our content. From now on I want us to think of BBC iPlayer as having the same status and value as a linear channel service.