Live-Blog: BBC iPlayer announcement

Director of Future Media at the BBC, Erik Huggers and developer Anthony Rose outline the ethos behind the iPlayer changes and tell us about what’s coming up.

The big changes – Facebook and Twitter integration and integration with Windows Messenger and links with other content platform. Live from now.

9.15 – why they launched the iPlayer: to give the public more control, on-demand content and to give the license fee payer
more value for money. It was controversial, but they pushed ahead.

9.17 2007 – It was still an unproven content. “I remember coming into the office and doing a high five when we had like
20 downloads, we were just pleased people were using it.

9.18 BBC had questions back then – will it cannabilise existing content? but we know now it’s complementary:
TV has gone up, radio has stayed steady

9.20 Huggers continues to outline the progress and evolution of the iplayer..
It’s available on 25 different devices: phones, consoles, – we proud we can provide those capabilities.

9.22 What makes it so succesful is the great content.

9.23 But we’re just scratching the surface (it all gets more exciting..) The number of users is bound to grow dramatically.
The BBC is placed to capture that upswing.

9.24 The Rivals: BBC are not alone in market, BBC know they have to keep innovating to keep the audiences happy.

9.25 BBC Trust – issued a review, audieneces love it, but it must keep providing innovations which meet license-fee payers expectations

9.27: TV and Radio are limited by spectrum. But on the internet, if you buy a new server, you have more space & more services.
You have unlimited shelf space. So we need to define what the limits of BBC online and BBC iPlayer are.

9.30 – [Chief Developer Anthony Rose takes stage]

More time designing than building it. Had moved from early adopter to mainstream. We wanted to add friends, but would keep it simple.
Simple but then you can customise it to suit yourself.


1) “For You” section – personalised recommendations. Kicks in after you’ve played a few programmes

2) “Friends” section – they’ve connected with Facebook and Twitter

3) An inbox style view – when you add stuff to your favourites it can be automatically downloaded for you – the next

4) Have separated TV and Radio – something consumers have asked for. Have created an all new radio console.

5) Updated the live TV section: have seen a big growth in live tv, every few seconds the iplayer matches video quality to your bit-rate

6) Recommend to friends Can link BBC id to Facebook and Twitter – waited to make sure they could keep the recommendation feature within the BBC site

7) New iPlayer desktop: can set to download at a particular time (eg at night when bandwidth is cheaper), and to download a whole series.

** 9.43 Best feature – we’ve integrated Windows Live Messenger- some people are interested in chatting about the programme, link your
account. You can see your friends, what they are watching, how far through they are and sync your iPlayer to them.

Anna Leach

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