The BBC announced a new feature called “Series Record” to its desktop iPlayer app Thursday. With the new feature, the BBC is giving its iPlayer users the ability to sign up once to record their favorite shows and catch up on that programming for up to a month after episodes air.
Previously, iPlayer users had to log in and choose to record individual episodes every time they wanted to catch up on a show. Those same users now have up to seven days to “record” and download a show in the desktop app, and can watch that episode for up to 30 days after a show airs (or seven days after they begin watching it).
The ability to “set it and forget it” could prove useful to fans of individual programs who might not be able to check in week-after-week, such as those that travel often. As a result, the addition of the Series Record feature could drastically increase the amount of viewership that happens through the app.
The iPlayer service is already incredibly popular with UK users, setting records almost every month for video requests made within a 30 day window. Much of that growth is coming from availability on new connected devices like game consoles, but the vast majority of its viewership still happens on the iPlayer desktop app. Because the iPlayer desktop application uses a download model, it also allows viewers to “record” and watch shows later as opposed to streaming from the cloud.