Longer exposure: watch programmes on BBC iPlayer up to 30 days after broadcast (and maybe even beforehand)

But Director General Tony Hall also tells staff to find £100m-a-year savings to fund improvements

Media Editor

The BBC's iPlayer is to extend its broadcast window from seven days to 30 and allow viewers to watch shows in advance of the schedule in transformational plans announced by Lord Hall, the Director General of the BBC.

Lord Hall outlined a new "personal BBC" where the broadcaster uses iPlayer to monitor the interests of its viewers and offers bespoke schedules - but he has told staff to find £100m-a-year in savings to fund his ambitions, which include a host of new technology features.

The Director General is seeking to fundamentally change the relationship between the BBC and its audience in the lead up to difficult negotiations on the future funding of the organisation in the wake of public upset over the Jimmy Savile and executive pay-off scandals.

During an address titled "Where Next?", Lord Hall said he wanted the BBC to cast off its "paternalist" attitude. "At the moment we treat audiences like licence fee payers. We should be treating them like owners," he said, expressing a desire that viewers would talk not of the BBC "but my BBC, our BBC".

In a landmark address six months after taking up his post, Lord Hall identified music as a key strength of the BBC and said Radio 1 would be given a position on iPlayer to encourage its growth as a visual network. He said the BBC will partner with Google's YouTube and the music streaming sites Spotify and Deezer to offer a new service called Playlister, where listeners will be able to tag any BBC radio tracks they hear and play them later on any digital device.

BBC radio's speech output will be collated into a new service called Open Minds as a "home of intelligent content for curious people" that can be listened to outside of the linear schedule. An online shop, BBC Store, will enable audiences to download BBC classics and own them permanently.

All of these offerings are an attempt to win back confidence in the BBC after an unexpectedly traumatic opening six months for Lord Hall. The former chief executive of the Royal Opera House has struggled to make his mark on an organisation that has been beset by continuing allegations of sex abuse against former members of staff, and scandals over wasteful spending on executive redundancy payments and flawed IT projects.

Although he was attempting to strike a positive note, the Director General showed contrition as he attempted to show that he did not take the public's support for granted. "To be given the right to be funded by a licence fee is a tremendous privilege," he said. In a reference to the embarrassment he felt over the "very serious failure" of generous pay-offs given to departing executives from a previous BBC regime, he said: "I want to ensure that when we do make mistakes they are caused by trying to serve our viewers, not by looking after ourselves."

As the BBC's output is increasingly accessed online and as the internet supports a seemingly limitless wealth of free content, the organisation faces a battle to convince younger viewers - many of whom are not watching on television - of the validity of the £145.50 annual licence fee, which they are still obliged to pay for watching live broadcasts on mobiles and tablets. Lord Hall said: "We'll make sure that everyone who should be paying the licence fee is."

In an attempt to get public support in new licence fee negotiations which will begin soon after the 2015 election, the BBC will try to give viewers the sense that they are receiving an individual service. "Audiences will be invited to sign in - they will get personalised recommendations," said Hall. "They'll be able to rate our programmes, to discuss, participate and vote. That will influence what we commission, when we schedule, how we run the BBC. They can become their own schedulers, our next creators, our future innovators."

BBC sources said the use of its websites could also be used to gather information on a user's likely programme tastes - but that the broadcaster aimed for a "gold standard" service in terms of privacy and personal data storage because it was motivated not by commercial factors but by providing the best possible user experience.

Emphasising the need for the BBC to be at the forefront of technological innovation, the Director General said a modern toddler regarded a magazine as "a tablet that's bust", while a contemporary teenager valued a mobile more than a radio or television set. Lord Hall, 62, said little about older audiences. He set out plans to help schools in teaching computer coding from 2015. In 2016, the BBC will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare by making its archive of the Bard's plays and poems available to schools.

He outlined his ambitions in the arts, including a new BBC Music Awards, and demanded that BBC News doubles its global audience to half a billion by 2022. The latter target is likely to alarm commercial British news organisations that are trying to grow international online traffic. Similarly the music awards will worry existing events in the busy entertainment awards calendar.

Funding all this, Lord Hall admitted would be hard. The 16 per cent cuts resulting from the existing Delivering Quality First savings programme are likely to be exceeded by a further 4 per cent. "But we'll have to find more again to do everything I've outlined today," he said. "Up to another £100 million a year." While BBC audiences might be encouraged by Lord Hall's vision, its price will give new concern to the organisation's staff.   

WHY CHANGE iPLAYER?

The iPlayer was celebrated by Lord Hall yesterday as the finest service of its kind in the world - but he said the public was enjoying a "golden age of media" and was hungry for even more flexibility. The Director General said yesterday that 40 per cent of iPlayer requests now come from mobile.

HOW DO THE CHANGES WORK?

Just as viewers want shows where they want, so they want them when they want - the schedule is increasingly irrelevant. So the BBC is widening the viewing window from seven to 30 days and allowing early adopters to watch shows before their scheduled broadcast (knowing they are likely to provide some helpful publicity by discussing them on social media).

IS THIS JUST ABOUT TELEVISION?

iPlayer will also feature video content from Radio 1 - reflecting that network's increasingly visual identity - and the BBC is launching a service called Playlister allowing users to tag songs they hear on BBC Radio and listen to them later on their favourite music streaming platforms. For those seeking "intelligent content" from speech radio networks, the BBC is packaging them into a new service called Open Minds, to be available on app and iPlayer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee