BBC experimental tool lets friends watch shows together in lockdown

BBC to launch an experimental tool that allows ‘small’ groups of family and friends to watch their favourite shows together during lockdown

  • BBC Together will let users play, pause and rewind a chosen show in sync
  • Viewers can be invited to the chosen programme by sending a shareable link
  • It will be available for BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, Bitesize, News and Sport

The BBC has launched a tool to allow small groups of family and friends to enjoy programmes on television and radio during lockdown.

BBC Together will let users play, pause and rewind a chosen show for everyone watching at the same time.

The feature, from BBC Research & Development, will be made available on the broadcaster’s experimental website, BBC Taster, in the near future.

A warning on the pilot’s webpage says it is ‘down for maintenance’ at present.

BBC Together will allow users to play, pause and rewind chosen shows for everyone watching

Viewers can invite others to the session by sharing a link. The show will then remain in sync for all those watching.

The feature will be available for any programmes on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, or any Bitesize, News or Sport content. 

Dr Libby Miller, senior R&D producer at BBC R&D, said: ‘There may be physical distance between us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy great programmes with our friends, family, colleagues and classmates.

‘We wanted to see if technology could bring people together to watch and listen to BBC shows remotely as a shared experience, which we’ve done with BBC Together.

‘It’s important to say that it’s just a test at this stage – and we’ll be monitoring how well it works and thinking about how we could change it in the future, but we’re looking forward to seeing and hearing about the creative ways that people use it and getting their feedback on Taster.’

It will be made available on the experimental features website BBC Taster. It is currently unavailable due to maintenance

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