While you may know the BBC for its TV hits from over the years (Monty Python, Doctor Who, Ricky Gervais’ The Office, Sherlock, and Peaky Blinders among them), the broadcasting giant actually began life as a radio station back in 1922.
True to its roots, it continues to pump out masses of audio-only content on a daily basis, with 18 national radio stations and 40 local ones covering a range of genres from music and comedy to sports and news. About 10 years ago, it launched its online iPlayer platform for both TV and radio, spinning off the latter for an iPlayer Radio app in 2012. More recently, it doubled down on its podcast efforts for a more convenient listening experience.
While the TV version of iPlayer is restricted to viewers in the U.K., almost all of its radio output is available worldwide. Even better, it’s free to use and free of ads.
With streaming services such as Spotify gaining in popularity in recent years, the BBC has been working on a new app that mirrors some of the functionality of these widely used services.
The result is BBC Sounds, a new app for iOS and Android that brings together its live broadcasts and podcasts while offering various ways to surface content of interest.
Introducing the first version of #BBCSounds, our new audio app: https://t.co/otjhcrNDhI pic.twitter.com/PqhaSQNBQ3
— BBC (@AboutTheBBC) June 26, 2018
Features include a scroll dial for quick access to all of the BBC’s national stations, or you can tap All Stations to jump to any of the local offerings.
You can easily pick up from where you left off with Continue Listening, explore handpicked collections of podcasts and on-demand music shows to match your mood, and discover new audio via the Recommended For You section.
Of course, you can also browse numerous categories, among them technology, crime, science, hip-hop, and classical.
You can quickly add any individual episode or clip to My List for listening to later, subscribe to any podcast or program, and get a personalized feed of the latest episodes in My Sounds.
“BBC Sounds brings together our live and on-demand radio, music, and podcasts into a single personalized app,” said Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.
He added: “Every user’s experience of BBC Sounds will be unique as it’s designed to learn from your listening habits, providing one-tap access to the latest episodes of your favorite BBC podcasts and radio shows and introducing you to new audio you wouldn’t otherwise have discovered from the 80,000 (yes, really) hours available.”
BBC Sounds is expected to replace iPlayer Radio over time.
If you fancy exploring the BBC’s radio offerings via the web, you can access the site here.
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