Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - BBC director general Lord Hall has said he plans to totally reinvent the BBC iPlayer by 2020 to increase its reach and become a "must-visit destination". One way Lord Hall plans to update the service to make it more popular is to make some programmes available in their entirety on iPlayer, even before they're released on television.

If the plans were to be introduced, it would make iPlayer a bigger rival to Netflix and Amazon Video, services that release full series in one go so customers can binge-watch them.

Lord Hall said the reasons for the changes would be because the "media landscape has changed beyond all recognition - it's more global and more competitive". He added his overall goal is for the iPlayer to be "the number one online TV service in the UK".

The BBC iPlayer is already on its way to achieving more viewers, as 2016 was its best year to date with 243 million monthly requests on average. As well as making box sets of TV shows available to binge-watch, Lord Hall wants to run more "slow news", which would involve more in-depth analysis of breaking news and topics. Hall wants to introduce these new changes by 2020, but by 2022 he wants the iPlayer to be "irresistible" to all audiences.

BBC iPlayer has already announced changes in a bid to close the "iPlayer loophole" that many viewers were exploiting. From this year, you'll need to pay the £145.50 license fee in order to be able to watch catch-up TV through the service.

Writing by Max Langridge. Originally published on 11 January 2017.