BBC Radio programmes like Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Just A Minute and Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone will soon be available to download, the BBC has announced.
The service will let listeners download programmes from the last seven days and give them 30 days to store it before opening and then a further seven days to listen once opened. This will give listeners access to over 7,600 hours of programming on a catch-up basis.
Today the BBC Trust approved proposals to make BBC radio content available along the same lines as TV content is on the BBC iPlayer. A BBC spokesperson said:
“We are delighted with the Trust’s decision. We will now start work to bring download functionality to BBC iPlayer Radio, a process which we anticipate will take some months yet.”
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to BBC iPlayerRadio downloads via BBC iPlayer are expected to go live sometime in 2014. Podcasts which are currently available via iPlayer won’t be affected by the new service. Some podcasts can currently be downloaded for offline listening over seven days while others have a longer shelf-life of 30 days. Some are available on an unlimited basis.
BBC radio downloads will be subject to DRM (Digital Rights Management) whereas BBC podcasts are free of such restrictions.
There’s no word yet if the BBC will roll this feature out to the web-based iPlayer first or will launch it across a multitude of platforms. BBC iPlayer Radio is available on iOS and Android devices but there’s no word yet on whether Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 devices will be supported.
The option to download TV programmes for offline viewing became a feature of the iOS iPlayer app last September. Owners of Android devices are still waiting for that feature to drop. Hopefully there’ll be more platform agnosticism when it comes to radio downloads.