New look iPlayer pushes channels and search

March 11, 2014 11.14 Europe/London By Julian Clover

iPlayer across four screens light backgroundBBC Director-General, Tony Hall, has unveiled a new version of the BBC iPlayer that offers a new consistent design, an advanced recommendation engine and improved search.

It launches today as an opt in version for PC users amid plans to soon update mobile and tablets apps with the new look and feel.

“This is an exciting day for us. BBC iPlayer is really popular, and new iPlayer will be even better,” said Lord Hall. “You’ll be able to find so many more programmes you might like – and I hope everyone enjoys the new design. It’s just a first step to re-inventing BBC iPlayer, the best online television service in the world”.

The smarter search function will now predict viewers’ search and offer options of what they might want to watch.

Collections will group together programmes around events, themes and time periods.

Significantly – and with BBC Three heading to online only – channels will be given more prominence with colour and logo branding.

A new favourites section will update with the latest episodes available to watch.

Launched on Christmas day 2007, BBC iPlayer is now available on over 1,000 devices across four screens – mobile, tablet, computer and TV. The apps have been downloaded over 28 million times and in January 2014 there were 315 million requests – averaging over 10 million requests a day.