Radio 1 launches BBC iPlayer channel

October 7, 2013 09.53 Europe/London By Julian Clover

BBC Radio 1 is joining the legion of UK radio broadcasters to make the move into TV with a new video channel distributed through the BBC iPlayer.

The channel will air performances and interviews not broadcast on the BBC’s traditional channels. It will be available to TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Videos filmed by Radio 1 have already made it the biggest radio station featured online and via YouTube, and it is hoped the move to BBC iPlayer will help reach even bigger audiences of young people.

Content will range from music featured in Radio 1’s Live Lounge or at the annual Big Weekend festival, to interviews with major stars or popular online features such as Innuendo Bingo.

It is also hoped that the new channel will be able to carry live events such as the Radio 1 Teen Awards or BBC Radio 1Xtra Live.

Ben Cooper, Controller of BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra, says: “I’m very excited about transforming Radio 1 from being just a radio station into being a full audio-visual channel. Radio 1 has always pioneered innovative ideas and led the way in engaging with young people and this is another huge step in cementing that reputation.”

Broadcasters including Capital and Kiss have both operated TV stations to supplement their radio brands.

The BBC has previously carried live music on its Red Button service, but with a reduction in the number of available video streams this has been reduced. However, this week the Red Button is being used to run video content from digital stations 1Xtra and 6 Music.