iPlayer app now available on Apple TV
James R | On 14, Dec 2015
BBC iPlayer is now available on Apple TV.
The app arrives on Apple’s set top box weeks after it was launched to the world, marking a crucial addition to its line-up of free VOD services. At present, only Roku and NOW boxes can boast the full library of public service broadcaster catch-up services, something that gives them the edge over Apple’s closed ecosystem.
For iPlayer, it’s another step in expanding its already wide reach. The site is the most used VOD platform in the UK, available on around 10,000 devices in the UK for free, from computers and smartphones to tablets and Connected TVs. Last year saw a record 3.5bn TV and radio programme requests across all devices.
iPlayer continues to upgrade its service accordingly to compete with other streaming platforms, from user accounts that include “My Programmes”, where users can find the shows they’ve favourited or resume programmes they’ve started watching on other devices, as well as programmes purchased on BBC Store, live restart on Connected TVs, and recommendations of shows personalised to user accounts.
As well as infrastructure and interface, BBC iPlayer’s other strength is the wealth of Beeb content available to watch. The Apple TV launch is just in time for the BBC’s bumper line-up of Christmas programming.
The winter schedule is already kicking off with a two-parter Luther special starting this week – accompanied by an exclusive “Journey So Far” recap of Seasons 1 to 3 on iPlayer.
A range of Star Wars titles are also available, from a Radio 1 special investigating The Secret of Star Wars to Star Wars at the BBC, which sees Peter Serafinowicz dig into the BBC’s archive to find the biggest Star Wars actors and characters from the Seventies appearing on shows such as Blue Peter, Pebble Mill and Ask Aspel. (This is available exclusively on iPlayer from 16th December at midday.)
Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer, says: “Christmas is a popular time for viewers to come to BBC iPlayer, as they unwrap new devices and browse and discover the BBC’s fantastic Christmas programmes. With the launch of iPlayer on new Apple TV, I’m delighted we’ve been able to give people another way of accessing the full breadth and range of BBC programmes. And, the updates to our mobile and tablet apps mean we can now deliver more personalised recommendations of BBC programmes to viewers, as well as the ability to stream BBC Store purchases directly from the iPlayer app.”