March 11, 2008

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer

Link to Chronology of UK Digital TV

The Guardian Organgrinder commentary asks:

So just how important is the BBC's £131m investment in the iPlayer to the future of television viewing, audience measurement and competition with commercial companies such as ITV and Joost?
Other useful nuggets revealed that streamed iPlayer viewing is dominating downloads by 8:1, although the BBC expects this to level out at 4:1 in the future, with 70% of shows downloaded actually viewed.

Partner deals with the likes of Bebo - and now Yahoo, MSN and Blinkx - are an important part of fulfilling the iPlayer's public service remit, said Highfield. He pointed out that 8 million internet users engage with BBC content via non-BBC websites - three million of whom never visit bbc.co.uk.

...the iPlayer internet service is just a stepping stone to making BBC programmes available on every available digital outlet and device - including iPhone and iPod video in the coming weeks - with a launch, albeit slightly delayed, on Virgin Media's cable TV service next month.

such a well-funded project from a household name like the BBC, offering high quality content, could well take broadband TV into the mainstream.

An ITV insider argues that the success of the iPlayer was an endorsement of its own strategy and revenue targets - which include making £150m-a-year in digital revenues from iTV.com by 2012 - as opposed to a threat that will kill any commercial operator's chances of making money out of broadband TV stone dead.

Of course the rise and rise of the iPlayer's popularity could also prove to be its biggest bone of contention with ISPs.
Best of the Organgrinder Blog comments

I would like to see the entire archive of BBC programmes placed online without any DRM limiting how long I have to watch them. There are thousands of programmes out there that are worth watching, but are never placed on DVD or any other form of media that allow them to be watched again.

As someone who has paid the licence fee, I think that the BBC's remit should include making all its programmes available to all who pay the licence fee. (Roadie)

Making the entire archive of the BBC available is the ultimate goal of the BBC too. however there's 2 major hurdling blocks.

Firstly the getting rights usage from all all these programs.
the bbc don't 'own' the rights to use and do what they wnat with these programs as you might imagine. it is amazing how complex this is, particularly for older programs and anything involving music. for every clip you licence a variable fee is paid to the writer, principle performers etc. depending on the length. A fee and agreement has to be worked out and agreed to for every program from all contributors.

Second. Finding the master copies, digitising and storing all this content and creating an infrastructure and capable or serving the content via the web is no small task.

Thankfully all programs now made at the bbc are digitally archived and i would assume most contracts contain either buyout or internet rights usage.(Attic)

I've been using the iPlayer since it was the alpha product, the BBC iMP.

The introduction of the Flash version which gives immediate access from Windows, Macs and even my Linux Eee PC is great.

The download version just needs the Microsoft DRM snake oil removing from it, but I've been bugging them (and they are nice people who were very polite about it) for some years.

What's missing?

1) Series stacking. PACT didn't like the idea that you could catch up with all the episodes of a series you missed, so that's a bit crappy/..

2) The long tail. Yes, you know what it is. Auntie know what it is. But the iPlayer has docked it! How wrong is that?

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/visualizing-traffic-analysis.html

3) IMHO the BBC should be - for the licence fee - a national library, not just another pusher of shiny things. There needs to be just a little more public service in the iPlayer. (Briantist) 

I've been using the iPlayer since it was the alpha product, the BBC iMP.

The introduction of the Flash version which gives immediate access from Windows, Macs and even my Linux Eee PC is great.

The download version just needs the Microsoft DRM snake oil removing from it, but I've been bugging them (and they are nice people who were very polite about it) for some years.

What's missing?

1) Series stacking. PACT didn't like the idea that you could catch up with all the episodes of a series you missed, so that's a bit crappy/..

2) The long tail. Yes, you know what it is. Auntie know what it is. But the iPlayer has docked it! How wrong is that?

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/visualizing-traffic-analysis.html

3) IMHO the BBC should be - for the licence fee - a national library, not just another pusher of shiny things. There needs to be just a little more public service in the iPlayer.

Webliography 

About the BBC iPlayer

February 08: Guardian Organgrinder : Could this be Broadband Tv's Freeview Moment?


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