I wanted to update you on our previous statement about RealMedia deprecation.
As I said in the previous post in October - we evaluate our streaming services against our four test of public value (Reach, Quality, Impact and Value) and those showed us that our RealMedia streaming services were something we need to continue to justify. The posting was to advise listeners that the RealMedia services would be discontinued.
The date on which these services should be treated as deprecated is still the 30th of March 2010. We have kept an eye on the metrics we used to evaluate RealMedia for this, especially in the last few months, just in case these changed. One of our metrics was to monitor the trend for RealMedia usage compared to uptake of alternatives (Flash, Windows Media, 3G...) – and as expected, we've seen the steady decline of users requesting RealMedia over the alternatives. Indeed, on devices like Internet Radios, the majority of manufacturers have been offering our Windows Media streams, both Live and On-Demand, for some time now.
All-in, our decision to deprecate RealMedia has not changed.
What does this mean to you? It means that, if you haven't already done so, you should shift to using the other available services::
- Internet Radios, Wifi Radios: all the common devices that we know about can make use of our Windows Media services, and communications with key manufacturers have allowed them to provide live and listen-again services on those devices. If you have one of these devices and this isn't working - speak to the manufacturer in the first instance.
- Web: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ - for UK listeners this offers you a high-quality version by default, though you can choose to listen to a low-bit rate stream (48kbps).
- Mobile: 3GPP streaming is available on mobile - for more information check: "Can I access BBC iPlayer on my mobile phone?"
- Alternative devices or other streaming players: "Where can I find the Windows Media streams to listen live to National BBC Radio?"
While RealMedia streaming services have been with us since 1996 and helped pioneer the streaming media experience with us, this move largely completes the modernisation of our media formats. This allows us to offer industry standards by platform and as a result of this simplification we’re hoping and expecting better reliability and a simpler user experience.