BBC iPlayer Users Required to Sign Up to a Personal Account by 2017

Broadcaster’s Tony Hall said BBC is ‘reinventing public service broadcasting for the digital age’

LONDON  The BBC will require users of BBC iPlayer, its VOD service, to log-in via a personal account from the beginning of next year. The move is part of the U.K. pubcaster’s next phase of plans to reinvent its public service broadcast offering using data.

In an announcement Tuesday, the BBC said a more personalized experience, tailored to all viewers and listeners across content, products and services, would help its users find more of the programming they liked while allowed the broadcaster to be better informed and make decisions around future programming and services for everyone.

“I want everyone to get the very best from the BBC. By learning about what you want and like we can take you to more of the great programs you love, stories you might be interested in and content you might otherwise never have discovered,” said Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC.

“This is a real transformation -reinventing public service broadcasting for the digital age. Millions of people are already benefitting from this more personalised BBC, and by rolling it out for everyone no one will be left behind.”

The BBC claims that more than seven million people have registered for a BBC account since 2015 in order to benefit from more personalized experiences, promoting the latest announcements in its plans. As a first step the company will roll-out a more secure sign-in system this week.

The next step will see all users of BBC iPlayer, including BBC iPlayer Radio and some of its mobile apps, asked to sign in to use it from early 2017. This will require users to create an online BBC ID account which will include adding their postcode. It is not currently necessary to have a BBC ID to access iPlayer.

The news follows the BBC’s recent move requiring anyone using iPlayer to have a U.K. television licence, which came into effect at the beginning of September. Previously users were only required to have a television licence if they chose to access live broadcasts. However, the corporation is currently unable to police the requirement with users simply asked to tick a box stating whether or not they have a licence, which cost £145.50 ($188.60) per year.

Live viewing on iPlayer grew to 11% of all television requests in June, the highest level in two years, according to BBC figures. The VOD platform saw a total of 290 million requests across television and radio in June, up 6% on the previous month and 39 million more than seen in June 2015. Television requests accounted for 229 million, the best performance for June since the platforms’ launch. Average weekly unique browser figures were at 19.9 million for June, the highest on record.

June figures were in part boosted by the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer event. The most viewed program in June was “Match of the Day”’s live coverage of the Euro 2016 contest between England and Wales with 2.84 million requests. This was followed by the second episode of season 23 of “Top Gear,” featuring new presenters Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc, with 1.43 million requests. The opening episode of “Top Gear”’s new-look season had been the most requested show in May with 1.44 million requests.

As part of its plans, the BBC has updated its privacy policy which is based on three promises of transparency, choice and trust. The BBC says it will only collect data required to provide a better experience to audiences and to improve its services and fulfil its responsibilities as a pubcaster; users will be able to manage or delete the account at any time; and the corporation will never sell personal details. However, should users delete their account they won’t be able to access BBC iPlayer from 2017.

More TV

  • South Park Donald Trump

    TV News Roundup: Comedy Central Sets 'South Park' Season 23 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Comedy Central announces the premiere date of “South Park” Season 23 and Netflix sets the premiere date and offers a first look at “Unbelievable.”  DATES Comedy Central announced that Season 23 of “South Park” will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. Because the episodes are written and animated so [...]

  • US actor Kevin Spacey (C) is

    Kevin Spacey Shouldn't Be Exonerated in Hollywood Even as Criminal Case Ends (Column)

    The news that criminal charges against Kevin Spacey in the Nantucket groping case have been dropped raises an inevitable question: does this mean he can claw his way back into Hollywood’s good graces? Or maybe more importantly: should it?  Spacey’s rapid descent was startling, even as it quickly followed that of the once untouchable producing [...]

  • Game of Thrones

    HBO's Return to Emmy Nomination Dominance May Be Short-Lived (Column)

    As Hollywood braces for the coming streaming wars, HBO’s huge Emmy nomination haul this week sent a new salvo Netflix’s way: The streamer may have the volume, but HBO still has the goods. At least this year. HBO’s record-breaking 137 nominations came on the strength of just 23 programs — led, of course, by “Game [...]

  • Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer

    Starz Nears Realignment: Why Lionsgate Won't Hire a CEO to Replace Chris Albrecht

    Nearly six months after Starz CEO Chris Albrecht exited in February, Lionsgate brass is moving closer to a revamp of the premium TV network’s executive structure. According to insiders, at least one thing is clear: Albrecht is not expected to be replaced as CEO. Instead, Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer is taking a more active [...]

  • Titans Ep. 102

    'Titans' Crew Member Dies After Stunt Goes Wrong at Special Effects Facility

    A crew member of DC Universe show “Titans” died following an incident during rehearsal at a special effects facility in Toronto on Thursday. The stunt, which involved a car, went awry when a piece of the car broke off unexpectedly and struck a special effects coordinator. Production will be shut down for two days. “We [...]

  • One Percenter TV Shows

    New Wave of TV Shows Lets Viewers Watch the Rich Get Their Just Deserts

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” reads the sign at the entrance to the massive Gemstone family compound. It goes on: “No trespassing.”  “The Righteous Gemstones,” the new HBO comedy debuting Aug. 18, depicts a family that’s as pious about other people’s fortunes as it is protective of its own. Led by patriarch John [...]

  • Stephen Hillenburg (Exec. Prod. Spongebob)'The Spongebob

    'SpongeBob SquarePants' Team Honors Stephen Hillenburg at Comic-Con

    The cast of “SpongeBob SquarePants” paid tribute to the late Stephen Hillenburg during their panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday. “SpongeBob to me represents Steve in a really profound way,” said Bill Fagerbakke, who voices Patrick Star. “The nature of that character is what the whole show is built on and so it’s kind [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content