Coming very soon after news broke that the iPlayer would be rolled out to users around the globe – for a fee that is – its popularity is continuing to grow with BT’s recognition of the demand out there for the service. The service will begin rolling out to BT Vision customers within the next month and will be fully up-and-running by April of next year.
Wondering just how popular BBC’s market-leading video-on-demand service actually is? Well in October last, there were 139million programme requests across a variety of media including computers, televisions and mobile devices. That’s over 3,000 requests every minute of the day and night.
Out of that 139million requests, 20million came from TVs which represents a growing market for the service. Well, people generally prefer to watch television programmes on a television wherever possible I suppose. And so BT will offer customers the full range of iPlayer services, which will replace its current BBC content on its TV Replay service.
“The launch of the iPlayer on BT Vision adds to the vast range of quality entertainment already available to our customers,” Marc Watson, CEO of TV and online services at BT Retail, said. The iPlayer will also join ITV’s Player on the Playstation3 as announced last August, though a date for when this will happen has yet to be fixed.
The reaction to the possibility of a fee being charged for those customers trying to access the iPlayer abroad has been divided. For the most part though people agree that since residents in the UK have to pay the licence fee, why should those abroad not have to do the same. Currently Channel 4’s video-on-demand service, 4OD, is available only in the UK and Ireland where there is no fee and is funded through advertising.