'BBC Together' Service Lets UK Users Enjoy BBC Content With Others Remotely

The BBC has launched a new experimental online service that lets users watch or listen to BBC programs, prodcasts, and radio with others over the internet at the same time.

BBC Together
Called BBC Together, the online tool is available on Taster, the BBC's experimental platform, which can be accessed via any web browser. The way it works is that one user finds the link of a program or video clip they want to watch with others – from BBC iPlayer, Sounds or Bitesize, BBC News and Sport websites – and then they paste it into the BBC Together service.

This creates a new group session, which can be shared via a link with friends or family. Each link can currently be watched by up to 50 participants, and the host user can pause, rewind, and fast-forward the content, or choose a new program for everyone to watch at once.

If the idea sounds familiar, you're probably thinking of Netflix Party, an extension for Google's Chrome web browser that lets users watch Netflix films and TV shows simultaneously. The service has seen a boost in numbers since the stay-at-home measures came into effect, so BBC Together could also prove a hit, although the Beeb says it's still just a test run for now.

Top Rated Comments

wordsworth Avatar
29 months ago

Unlikely to get anywhere. Requires a TV licence and it is only English TV programs anyway. Perhaps a good demo for real broadcasters to see what they can do.
If I may quote Wikipedia: the BBC is "the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees'". It's not just for the English either. It's the British national broadcaster (which also includes Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland). It also exports its programmes around the world and has done so successfully for many decades, to the benefit of many.

The BBC includes its substantial radio arm, a jewel in the crown of which is its policy of broadcasting to countries that otherwise do not have a reliable independent news source. I'd say that this was "real broadcasting" rather than, say, the hugely popular "Fakebook" poison and drivel, for example. I know where I'd rather turn to for information, flawed organisation (as is any large entity) though it may be.

I would agree with you that some further decentralisation of the BBC's broadcast production and policy would certainly benefit the likes of Scotland and be entirely appropriate. Indeed, the BBC may be far from perfect but I am glad it exists.

I believe you are correct about it requiring a licence fee.

When you say that what is going in London is irrelevant to the rest of the world, I strongly disagree. Brexit is a prime example of that. The decision to leave the EU has had a profound effect on Europe and with knock-on effects across the world. The likes of Putin will be highly satisfied with such social, political and economic destabilisation while tinpot rightwing chancers in far too many countries have been gven encouragement that unrealistic populist policies can win them power and influence. The powerful rightwing print media in Britain is damaging and socially divisive and disruptive (calling judges "traitors", for example, when the judges were in fact upholding and protecting democratic law and principle). We live in dangerous times and as our national broadcaster the BBC continues to be attacked in both large-scale and small-scale manner. I believe that it should be protected for what it is rather than undermined for what it is not.

As for BBC Together, it's not something I would likely use but I imagine there are many others who will.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vmistery Avatar
29 months ago

Unlikely to get anywhere. Requires a TV licence and it is only English TV programs anyway. Perhaps a good demo for real broadcasters to see what they can do.
It is the national broadcaster, I'd hate to see us only have just American controlled news just for a start.

Great idea, look forward to trying it, I still listen to at least an hour of BBC radio a day and watch quite a few programs too.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saturnine Avatar
29 months ago
Anyway, fair play to the BBC for continuing to innovate and bring new features to the platform. It's slightly niche but particularly timely as my girlfriend and I (who live separately) have recently been synchronising our viewing so we can chat about the programmes we're watching as we're watching them. Yeah, we're pretty lame. :)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordsworth Avatar
29 months ago
When starting a thread it would be preferable to begin without an inherent bias, further undermined by factual inaccuracy.

In this thread, it was a very bad start on the part of the OP. While the subject of the thread was supposed to be the development of the BBC Together service, the OP's rather misleading and inaccurate assessment of the organisation behind the development required some appropriate qualification, so that anyone unaware of the status of the BBC wasn't deceived into thinking it wasn't "a real broadcaster", which is in effect what the OP was asserting. A truly bizarre statement that revealed more about the OP than his/her opinion about the BBC Together service. It could not be allowed to stand in all its wild inaccuracy, hence my own rather lengthy defence of the BBC later in the thread, and vmistery's responses likewise.

It's such a shame when public dialogue is tainted right from the beginning. Maybe this thread can address its real subject from now on.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
McScooby Avatar
29 months ago

I would much rather watch independent news than English news. What is going on in London is complete irrelevant to the rest of the world but to watch live television in any of the major nations of the UK we have to fund English television. Though in saying that, I don't see any reason to want to watch a news broadcast when there are thousands of unbiased websites providing news about Scotland and the rest of the world.

I don't think the world really cares that much what a little country like England is doing. It is irrelevant to people outside England what is going on in England. While it is news to me what is going on in the east of Fife, I am sure that is irrelevant to anyone outside of Scotland. I do care to know what is going on in other major countries like those in Europe as what they do can affect my business and my country. The USA is largely irrelevant, but its current president is amusing to watch.

But regardless, this service will surely be interesting to those in England that want to watch whatever the latest soup is together. It is irrelevant to the rest of the UK and World except to show that this is possible and major broadcasters may want to look at introducing similar apps that will assuredly be better made.
The BBC is a UK broadcaster. It's not English TV it's UK TV and for folk that might not know this, I'd say it's disingenuous at best to refer to the BBC that way . Had you taken the time to check it out on iPlayer you would find that the Scotland TV section can also be used.

Will I use this service, probably not. One of the the worst things about the Beeb is their ability to splurge vast amounts of public cash against projects that come and go. People here obviously will know who the BBC are, after all where did a few of the headliner Apple Music DJ's get poached from or the head of Apple TV's nature unit or even where did Apple get the 4K underwater screensavers on Apple TV?

What happens in God's Country (Fife) doesn't bear any particular relevance to me and I'm in Scotland and I'm sure if anything life-shattering did happen there then I would catch it on the BBC Scotland News or the BBC News (n.b. it's not BBC English news) or any of the other local providers available.

Off topic, but if Scotland really wanted to set up a National Broadcaster then what's stopping someone or why hasn't Scot Gov?

Could it just be that as the BBC have created a few dedicated channels for Scotland that have fairly low viewing figures and the way that STV (Scottish TV funded by adverts) has gone downhill in recent years, I really can't see a new broadcaster happening.

But as always in Scotland (moreso since the Nationalists got in) it's always the English's fault be it now or 700 years ago and some folk take every opportunity to exploit this.

Ironically a bit like the 4 nations that make up the UK (that the BBC covers), the BBC is in a unique position that should be valued, not slated at every opportunity.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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