BBC to offer some programming on the iPlayer before TV

Conscious of the Netflix factor?

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The BBC plans to screen selected shows through its online iPlayer platform before they're screened on television, it has emerged.

The Telegraph reports that the Corporation will embark on a 12-month trial during which 40 hours of regularly scheduled programming will air online first.

The decision, which may be seen as a direct response to competition from Netflix, was approved at the BBC Trustees' meeting back in December, according to the report.

There's no news yet on which shows will be part of the trial, but it seems unlikely that web viewers will get access to the Beeb's staple content before it's transmitted to the living room TV set.

Web-first vs catch-up

The iPlayer continues to grow in popularity, hitting a record 187 million video requests during January alone on desktops, laptops, mobile devices and through apps on Sky+, Xbox 360 and more.

Now, the BBC wants to see whether this can be exponentially increased by dangling the carrot of web-first content, rather than the only delivering from the archives.

It also appears that Auntie is conscious of the trend towards monthly subscription services like Netflix and Lovefilm.

With Netflix opening up House of Cards, its first major original series, to viewers in the UK at the back-end of last week, the Beeb is no longer trading blows dealing with a TV and film re-run merchant.

Via Telegraph