The BBC has confirmed that it will broadcast six short films exclusively on iPlayer over the next two years, becoming the latest media outlet to debut original content on its online video streaming service. The BBC says that the dramas will feature "up and coming talent" that is linked to the BBC Three brand, providing UK license-fee payers with the opportunity to watch content in their own time or on the move.
Will be aired over the next two years
It's not the first time the BBC has debuted new content on its iPlayer platform (previously making episodes of a Doctor Who spin-off available to users), but it will be the first time the broadcaster has created content exclusively for the service. It mirrors a move by other online streaming companies, including Netflix and Amazon, which have begun taking steps to supplement licensed films and TV shows with their own original content. Netflix recently launched its new House of Cards drama series starring Kevin Spacey, which went on to become the company's "most-watched" show ever.
In the UK, the BBC's iPlayer service leads its online catch-up rivals, capturing a record 272 million requests for TV and radio programmes in January. The service can be accessed not only via a web browser, but also via the BBC's official iPlayer apps and syndication agreements with various satellite and cable providers, including Sky and Virgin Media. It's almost certain that the BBC will use its broadcast channels to promote and advertise its online-only content, giving its new content every chance of succeeding in an online-only environment.