The BBC Trust has approved plans to stream some of its most popular TV shows before they broadcast on television. The BBC iPlayer will stream the shows as part of its on-demand broadcast service.
Approval for the first-to-air program will consist of a 12-month trial. The approved program will includes up to 40 hours of various TV shows.
The goal is to test the new platform to see if it makes monetary sense for the network.
According to BBC News, there were more than 2.32 billion requests for TV shows and radio programming in 2012, up from 1.94 billion requests in 2011. While much of that increase was due to the London Summer Olympics, the network still witnessed a hefty increase for its popular broadcast shows.
The BBC has been testing various broadcasts on the iPlayer but has focused those tests on pilots and one-off shows that would normally never be broadcasted.
The BBC iPlayer currently accounts for two percent of the BBC’s overall viewing numbers. Should the test program be a success, the network will likely see a sharp increase in app usage.
Moving towards a more robust online streaming platform could be a key for the networks future successes. In the future, the BBC could find itself competing more against Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and other streaming video services that have begun to offer original content of their own.
Do you think streaming shows before they air on television is a sign of TVs future, or will this test fail to receive the the traction it needs for success?