BBC iPlayer – best model for future broadcasting

The BBC’s iPlayer service is setting the bar for an online television destination, with US broadcasters now looking to take a leaf from the BBC’s book. In Europe, Italy’s RAI and Germany’s RTL are looking to replicate the BBC’s service in their own home markets, Business Week reports.
iPlayer lets UK users access full-length streaming footage of BBC shows from the last seven days on demand. Windows users can also download shows for offline viewing, though these are protected by technology which means the downloads stop working after a set period. The BBC offer is so tempting – and, given recent updates to the service, so increasingly slick, the broadcaster now attracts in the region of 2.2 million pairs of eyeballs to its iPlayer service every month. The BBC says more than 60% of its viewers are 35 or older—and they stay online for almost 30 minutes per session.
Bobby Tulsiani, a JupiterResearch analyst said: “From day one, the BBC’s iPlayer started with the right experience,” he says. There’s increasing tension between the BBC and the ISP’s, who complain the service is impacting their networks because it uses up so much bandwidth. ISPs want content providers to contribute to ramping-up infrastructure, content providers, naturally, argue that content is what convinces people to sign-up an ISP in the first place. While analysts predict that partnerships will be forged between content providers and ISPs, we at Distorted Loop believe that ownership of the network will emerge as the next great battle ground for the content industries. We anticipate some movements in which some content providers will buy ISPs, Virgin Media in the UK could be considered an early example of the content/infrastructure combo. We’ll see.

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