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BBC Trust On-demand Syndication Consultation

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Nick Reynolds Nick Reynolds | 15:23 UK time, Monday, 31 May 2010

In all the excitement about the BBC iPlayer beta last week some readers may have missed a couple of things.

The BBC Trust published the conclusions of its review of the BBC's on-demand services, including the BBC iPlayer. Here's an extract:

The review, conducted two years after the launch of on-demand services, found that the iPlayer has performed in line with its usage expectations, has effectively promoted 'niche' or less well-known programmes, appeals well to its target younger audiences, and represents good value for money.

You can find the Trust's statement here.

The BBC Trust also began a consultation about the BBC Executive's proposed approach to on demand and syndication. There are more details here including the full management proposals. Here's an extract from those propoals:

An alternative potential solution would be to allow third parties to build their own delivery mechanisms for iPlayer - so called 'self-build'. This would mean variants of iPlayer built on different underlying technologies controlled by third parties and not the BBC. The BBC believes that self-build would compromise the ability of the BBC to ensure quality, especially around upgrading of the products.

There would also be a significant cost to the BBC to comply self-build activity and subsequent upgrade. The BBC will still work with third parties to adapt standard versions where appropriate, but ownership should remain with the BBC. Where it is more cost-efficient to take advantage of third parties' technical resource, the BBC will do so.

If you want to contribute you can do so at the Trust's website. The consultation ends on July 21st.

Nick Reynolds is Social Media Executive, BBC Online.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "An alternative potential solution would be to allow third parties to build their own delivery mechanisms for iPlayer"

    Hmm... so the BBC will undertake to provide delivery mechanisms for all possible hardware and operating systems? - this is unrealistic and economically unsound.

    The walled garden delivery philosophy that the BBC is proposing is in my view well established to be fundamentally unsound. Why should the BBC force licence players to have the latest 'feature rich' version of iPlayer when many users are, and were, perfectly content with a minimal version?

    The closing down of the open source Linux version demonstrates the BBC's true view of only providing a very narrow product to it licence payers and this is wrong as a basis for delivery for a number of reasons. The BBC should permit anyone and everyone to design and build their own player and let the market choose how many 'features' it wants, otherwise the BBC will become just another Facebook or iPhone commercial business. This will considerably lessen the value and reach of broadband delivery to licence payers and generally turn off the viewers who will go elsewhere for their broadband viewing.

    Furthermore can the BBC afford to continue to develop its software for all operating system equally? I recall other close systems sponsored by the BBC such as the BBC Computer and the Domesday book project. If you can't remember them, look them up - they too were based on the walled garden approach and the led nowhere wasting all the effort and in the end producing nothing of lasting value. This sadly has been the norm for BBC technology projects, but there is no reason for this to remain the case.

    The BBC should make its iPlayer server interfaces public and open source so that developers can be encourage to build the best and most innovative display mechanisms at no cost to the BBC. This will maximise the BBC coverage and minimise the BBC's cost.

  • Comment number 2.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    I intend to agree with you on this comment"The closing down of the open source Linux version demonstrates the BBC's true view of only providing a very narrow product to it licence payers and this is wrong as a basis for delivery for a number of reasons. The BBC should permit anyone and everyone to design and build their own player and let the market choose how many 'features' it wants, otherwise the BBC will become just another Facebook or iPhone commercial business. This will considerably lessen the value and reach of broadband delivery to licence payers and generally turn off the viewers who will go elsewhere for their broadband viewing."

 

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