BBC revamps online radio service with new websites and dedicated iPlayer Radio app

8 Oct 2012

The BBC has given its online radio service an overhaul with new websites for its stations coming out of beta and the launch of BBC iPlayer Radio, a dedicated app for listening live and catching up on BBC radio.

The new app is available now on iOS (though not yet optimised for the iPhone 5 screen) with an Android version coming soon. It features a touchscreen dial to access all 57 BBC radio stations and their live streams, podcasts, video clips and a catch-up service on every station page for broadcasts users have missed.

The app also gives information on the tracklist used on music shows and users can highlight songs as favourites and share them with friends via email and Twitter. Users can also programme an alarm clock to be woken up by their chosen station, or set programme alerts so they never miss a particular show.

The BBC iPlayer Radio app is currently only available in the UK, but subscribers to BBC iPlayer (Global) in Ireland will still be able to access the radio service via this app.

New look online

Alongside the launch of the app, BBC Radio has also revamped its homepage and the websites for almost all stations. These designs were rolled out in beta over the summer, with great attention paid to user feedback and analysis of user engagement.

BBC Radio

The result is a simplified layout across all sites that works well on all platforms, whether accessing on a desktop or mobile device. Visitors to the mobile websites will also be able to play iPlayer Radio this way (though not in Ireland).

What we’re wondering now is if this revamp – which gives BBC Radio its own platform separate from the TV iPlayer – is paving the way for a BBC music-streaming service rumoured for launch in 2013. We’ll just have to hold on to find out.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic