BBC Unveils New On-Demand Music Streaming Service
Making its entry into the music-streaming arena, the British
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has just launched a new music service of its own
called BBC iPlayer Radio. The new service allows users to listen to the BBC radio
stations and music offerings live or on demand either through their browser or
iPhone. An Android version is said to be coming soon, but there are no plans
for Windows or Blackberry versions of iPlayer Radio, and the mobile service will
only be available in the United Kingdom.
There had been several reports out that the BBC was working on
building a music service, and the network has said they’ve been developing one
for a year now.
The new iPlayer Radio provides users with 57 BBC Radio stations
that host both live and archived content. Users can save their favorites, watch
videos, search for programs (but not artists), and can even set alarms for when
their favorite DJs and programs come on. They can also discover what their friends
are listening to with the help of a few social integrations as well.
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“Now mobile represents about 18% of our overall usage, with events
like Radio 1 Hackney Weekend seeing over 30% of their traffic from mobile
devices,” said Andrew Scott, who heads radio, music and audience facing
services at BBC Future Media. “Now we have a platform which allows flexibility
and personality for each network, but also encourages users to move between the
different network sites.”
In a BBC blog post, multiplatform’s and interactive controller Mark
Friend also mentioned that 2012 saw a giant leap in the number of people
accessing BBC radio stations and events over mobile.
"Last month saw an 88% year-on-year increase in reach to our
mobile-optimized sites,” he said.
Since 2007, BBC already has had a similar service available for
their television hub available called iPlayer TV, which allows users to access
to BBC television content online that was aired within the past week. The
service was used more than 196 million times during the three-month summer
period alone. This new iPlayer Radio is said to be essentially the music
version of iPlayer TV.
BBC’s entry into the music streaming market comes days after
French music streaming service Deezer received $130 million in funding from
Access Industries (owner of Warner Music) and pervious investor Indivest. With the
new cash in hand, the company promises to expand to 200 countries this year
(avoiding the United States), and now claims 26 million users. Of
those, two million are said to be paying subscribers, which is in contrast to Spotify
who claims that four million of its 15 million users are paying subscribers.