Feeds

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

Coy on funding, promises commissioned-for-web progs

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.