The BBC has announced that it will stream BBC Three comedy shows on iPlayer first of all before being broadcast on TV.
New scripted comedy shows will debut online seven days before they make it to TV screens from August onwards.
The second season of Jack Whitehall’s Bad Education will be the first new show to get the iPlayer premiere treatment, ahead of a third round of comedy pilots.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to BBC iPlayerFollowing on from the most recent series of pilots, which also debuted on iPlayer, BBC Three’s controller Zai Bennett says: “We’ve already been experimenting with online content, starting with the hugely popular Comedy Feeds, now in their second season and with a third in the pipeline.
“Premiering our scripted comedies on BBC iPlayer is an obvious and exciting step forward for BBC Three, and yet another innovative way to give our viewers more choice in the ways they can enjoy our programmes.”
The BBC will also be using iPlayer as a springboard for shows, such as Peter Kay’s Car Share, from other BBC channels. In total, 40 hours of programming will end up on iPlayer first.
Victoria Jaye head of BBC TV content online and IPTV says: “We want to use BBC iPlayer to maximise audiences’ discovery of BBC programmes and increase the time they spend with the BBC. Forty-two per cent of viewers who to come to BBC iPlayer today do so without anything specific in mind to watch, and over a third are happy to try new and different content.”
Streaming services like Netflix and Lovefilm Instant adding exclusive shows could have inspired the BBC to air fresh meat online first. Recently the BBC revealed that programme downloads on iPlayer for Android are finally on the horizon after a long period of development issues.