BBC iPlayer on Nokia N96 mobile phone
Lying in bed watching the latest episode of Strictly Come Dancing on a mobile phone will become possible from next month after a tie-up between the BBC and Nokia.
All BBC programmes transmitted in the past seven days will be available to download to the new Nokia N96 multimedia handset, in a first for the broadcaster and phone maker.
N.B. BBC News also has the story here (ed)
I have always wanted to take BBC iPlayer to mobile but we have been waiting for devices to arrive which mean we can create the kind of experience that audiences have come to expect from the service.
The iPhone and iPod Touch gave us something to work with and we launched a beta for those devices earlier in the year. Some aspects of the experience were fantastic but there were still compromises. The Nokia N96 was always gong to be a contender, as we knew it would be optimised for video and audio. The success of the N95 also meant there was a good chance of it becoming a mainstream device.
Nokia were keen to work with us on the project and together we looked into what it would take to launch something. It proved to be the first platform where we could fully realise the ambition that we had for mobile iPlayer. Naturally, we will want to introduce other devices as they become available - and we're already working on the next group.
It will be interesting to see how people use BBC iPlayer on mobile rather than over a set-top box or a computer. I think that the ratio of download to streams might be more, even compared to the PC; I also think that BBC radio programmes will perform well. No doubt there will be some surprises that we will be able to feed into the next version.
As ever, any launch is only the beginning of the journey and now we have the core functions of iPlayer available we will begin to see what the mobile version can do uniquely well. Social features seem an obvious choice but there is a possibility for something around location. Ultimately, we want the mobile version to make a contribution to a BBC iPlayer that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Matthew Postgate is Controller, Mobile, BBC Future Media & Technology.