Feeds

Netflix needling you? BBC pimps up iPlayer ahead of BBC3 move

Coy on funding, promises commissioned-for-web progs

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The BBC unveiled a much-needed front-end makeover for its sprawling iPlayer service today – while dodging the inevitable questions about subscriptions.

The corporation has updated iPlayer to take on commercial subscription rivals like Netflix, with shows available for longer – 30 days, subject to Trust approval. The details of the revamp are clarified here.

A very welcome new "Collections" category gathers together related material – which is currently buried and requires the viewer or listener to know the name of the broadcast, or when it was aired. The old "Factual" category has been replaced with more useful and self-explanatory groupings of Documentaries, Food, Arts, History, Science and Nature.

Currently the BBC lashes iPlayer tightly to its channel branding, but this is coming apart in the post-channel world. People care little upon which channel a programme originated.

The BBC has mooted iPlayer-only channels (such as Radio 1 videos) and yoof channel BBC3 is earmarked to go iPlayer-only in 2015. Little more was added today.

Absent today was any news on keeping the iPlayer back-end up to date – which is vital to the "user experience". Google’s YouTube runs on its own private network, while Netflix has conceded the need for peering arrangements to ensure reliable throughput. iPlayer remains hit and miss, particularly in HD mode – and when former iPlayer guru Anthony Rose floated the idea of the BBC helping ISPs by building a UK CDN for iPlayer, his former boss quickly rubbished the idea.

Unique iPlayer-only content will be commissioned, the BBC confirmed, indicating the iPlayer's potential as a money-spinner. BBC3 will go iPlayer-only from 2015. The BBC also wants to retain its per-household licence fee (set to balloon as the number of UK households increases), and also yoke it to inflation.

It also wants to charge iPlayer-only viewers the full fee. You could call this a "Boris Plus" strategy: pro cake, pro eating the cake, and pro owning the cake shop. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.