Who wants three seperate players when you can get all your content in one place?
I think I concur with most rational-thinking people when I believe that any collaborative program called ‘Kangaroo’ is bound to succeed, even if it does involve the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV in the same scheme. Coming next year the service will build upon the foundations laid by the BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4OD services and offer a central portal bringing together on-demand TV offerings from all three groups.
Kangaroo is actually just the work-in-progress name for the service, so a more corporate branding will probably be applied next year when it launches. Nonetheless, the potential is certainly there. From the BBC’s side it is actually BBC Worldwide which is involved in building the service. Unlike the iPlayer, which is run purely as a free public service, Kangaroo will be a commercial venture; the distinctions basically being how long you maintain the right to play the files. The iPlayer and 4oD currently allow files to be played for 30 days after download.
Channel 4 is planning to merge 4oD with this new service although it will still offer some limited content on its own site. The BBC on the other hand while linking through to iPlayer-available content on Kangaroo, will still offer the iPlayer as a separate service. The biggest hindrance the programme faces though, is that the boards of Channel 4 and ITV and the BBC Trust have to approve it before any more progress can be made, although common sense suggests there shouldn’t be any reason for consent not to be given. I hope we see this one sooner rather than later.