Digital Media Anywhere
You may have already read the interview in today's Media Guardian where I lay out my vision for the BBC's digital future.
It should be no surprise that digital media are at the heart of the BBC's online strategy.
Audio/visual is the soul of the corporation and will form the backbone of a vastly improved bbc.co.uk in the years to come. It's sometimes easy to forget that we have made substantial progress over the last 12 months from a technical and editorial perspective.
The broad adoption of our embedded media player for on-demand short-form, long-form and simulcasting are great examples. Our podcast offering is growing in popularity fast and BBC iPlayer continues to go from strength to strength.
What I am most proud about is the wide variety of internet-connected devices that BBC iPlayer services can accessed on. I am sure you have seen the list somewhere, so I will go straight to what is new.
Using Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), we intend to make BBC iPlayer download functionality available on Mac, Linux and Windows for the first time later this year. Whatever platform you use, you'll now be able to download TV programmes from the BBC to watch later - on the train, in the garden, or wherever you like.
Given our obligations to rights-holders and the BBC Trust, these programmes are protected with DRM, but in a way that shouldn't affect your enjoyment of our programmes, whatever platform you've chosen.
For the BBC, this is a first and yet again shows our continued commitment to give our audiences convenient access to our programmes wherever they are. As other advanced mobile phones become available, we will be looking at making the service available there as well.
While we are making great progress, I wonder if there is a more fundamental way for the BBC to contribute to making "media anywhere" a mass market reality. Getting your favourite programmes on a wide variety of devices is still too difficult for the average consumer. Device makers define what media platform functionality and user experience to support and mostly those are not consistent - which leads to trouble for consumers.
I have asked BBC Research to explore whether we should create/drive an open industry standard for IP-delivered Media On The Go. There is no fixed timeline for the delivery of Research's results at present, but when we have an update we will let you know. In the meantime, I'd be interested to hear what you think.
Erik Huggers is Director, BBC Future Media & Technology.