Drive To Make IPlayer Top Online TV Service By 2020 In 'Reinvented' BBC

The BBC is announcing plans to put the iPlayer at the centre of future broadcasting plans - competing against giants such as Netflix and Amazon.

In a speech to staff on Wednesday, director-general Tony Hall said he wants iPlayer to "be the number one online TV service in the UK".

It comes after Amazon signed up Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for The Grand Tour, while Netflix won Golden Globes for another big-budget show, The Crown.

Lord Hall said: "iPlayer was the biggest revolution of the last Charter.

"Today it's the number one video-on-demand service in the UK, reaching more people than any other.

"Now we need it to make the leap from a catch-up service to a must-visit destination in its own right.

"Our goal, even in the face of rapid growth by our competitors, is for iPlayer to be the number one online TV service in the UK.

"That will mean doubling our reach, and quadrupling the time each person spends on it every week. And we want do it by 2020. That's tough, but I know we can do it."

Lord Hall said he wanted to "reinvent the BBC for a new generation".

His speech comes as Sir David Clementi was announced as the Government's preferred candidate to be the BBC's new chairman.

Lord Hall also announced that the BBC would take a "slow news" approach to storytelling in an attempt to offer audiences more in-depth analysis.

He said it was more important than ever to help audiences "understand what's happening in the world today".

"We're up there with the best in the world at telling people what's happening right now, and being where they come to find out what's really going on," he said.

"But I want us to do much more to help our audiences understand what's happening in the world today."

Alongside "fast" breaking news, the BBC will put a stronger emphasis on "slow news" - meaning a deeper focus on topics and issues affecting people.

He said: "In a world of near-limitless choice, I want people to carry on choosing us.

"I want us to have shown that public service broadcasting has even more to offer Britain and the world in the next century - even more than it has done in its first hundred years. That excites me."