BBC including new tools for kids in digital future

BBC logo canvasThe new digital plans for the BBC aren’t going to be adults-only. Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s, laid out details of the broadcaster’s Big Digital Plan for Children. That plan includes the expected launch a new iPlayer aimed specifically at content for kids.

Webb said that the revised iPlayer would allow children to collect and watch their favorite material from across the broadcaster’s programming. The new version – which has been given the working title iPlay – would be an on-demand partner for the existing CBBC and CBeebies kid-friendly channels. The platform would allow individual kids to collect their favorite shows in a single hub. “It would include the programs children love but would also allow us to commission new types of content whether interactive formats, film or audio clips, games, or digital creative activity,” she said.

The new iPlay would also be about more than a lean-back experience of content. “Learning and making will be at the core of iPlay – encouraging children to be active creators, not just passive consumers,” Webb said. “And it will also include blogs, podcasts and educational tools to help develop digital and creative skills to boot.”

The iPlayer has already seen 500 million downloads of children’s content in the first half of this year. That’s almost twice the downloads in the same period of 2014.

Anna Washenko