From catch-up TV to online TV: digital broadcasting and the case of BBC iPlayer

Paul Grainge, Catherine Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In October 2013, six months after his appointment as the new Director
General of the BBC, Tony Hall gave his first major speech about the
future direction of the Corporation. Titled ‘Where next?’, the speech
outlined a vision to personalize the BBC in ways that reflected ‘how our
audiences are changing’.1 Arguing that audiences ‘want less distance,
more involvement’ in a world of connected viewing, Hall speculated on
what the BBC might look like on its hundredth birthday in 2022. At the
centre of his vision was BBC iPlayer, the Corporation’s on-demand
service. In the BBC’s centenary year, Hall envisioned iPlayer as central
to the reinvention of public service broadcasting in a digital media world,
speaking of a transformation in the role and function of iPlayer ‘from
being catch-up TV to online TV’. Rather than offer extended windows
for linear broadcast content, iPlayer was positioned to become ‘the best
online TV service in the world – and the front door to many people to the
whole BBC’.2
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-40
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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