It seems that all the big online TV broadcasters are creating original content as part of their web based on-demand strategy. After Netflix, Amazon and Youtube all commissioned new programming, the BBC are doing the same with the iPlayer catch-up service.
They have announced the creation of six short films, being produced as a collaborative effort between iPlayer, BBC Three and BBC Drama. The shows will be available to stream within the next two years, and be made by promising UK directors.
The shows will consist of existing show spin-offs and possibly pilot shows . Already the iPlayer has seen it’s share of Some comedy pilots and spin-offs from other shows have previously been screened on iPlayer, including Doctor Who mini-series Pond Life. However this is the first time original drama programming has been created specifically for the service.
BBC head of IPTV and TV online content Victoria Jaye said: ‘This ambitious new strand builds on BBC iPlayer as a creative platform to bring original British drama to audiences online, and explores storytelling outside of a scheduled TV slot or duration,” she said.
The BBC are obviously seeing that the future is online. After getting record viewing figures for 2013, the BBC announced last month that some shows will be premiering on the iPlayer service prior to the TV broadcast.
Other internet TV services are jumping headlong into original web content. On-demand subscription service Netflix have seen great success with the recent release of House Of Cards, and the soon to be released horror show, Hemlock Grove. Meanwhile Youtube are spending $100 million on original TV channels.