Radio Times website to include third party VOD integration

The BBC is overhauling its Radio Times website to become a combined listings tool for television, video on demand and catch up services.

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The new site moves away from just focusing on linear programming alone and will feature integration with third party catch-up and on-demand services such as Channel 4’s 4OD, as well as the BBC’s own iPlayer.

The changes could make the website more attractive to advertisers because it will perform as a one-stop guide for all real-time and catch-up viewing on TV and online – potentially pulling in more users.

Digital publisher at BBC Worldwide Alex White says: “Consumer behaviour is changing. People are watching across linear schedules, video on demand and catch up services. Radiotimes.com will reflect not just what people watch, but how and when they choose to watch it.”

Radiotimes.com will also include a planner tool for users to diarise their viewing.

The redesign is “the most significant overhaul of any BBC Magazines website for the last six years” according to a source close to the matter.

The overhaul project aims to make the website more complimentary to the magazine than it is in its current form and it will include more original online content. It is due for launch late summer 2011.

In its last ABCe report in June, the Radio Times website attracted 84,086 daily average unique browsers. Its print version is the third most actively purchased magazine in the UK.

BBC Worldwide is currently in talks with publishers as it looks to sell a stake in its magazine business.

Titles including the Radio Times, Gardener’s World and Good Food magazine could be hived off because the BBC says it is restricted by constraints to its editorial remit, borrowing capabilities and it has other strategic priorities.

It is not yet clear whether a licensing agreement with a new publisher would mean BBC Worldwide relinquishes ownership of its publications’ websites.

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