BBC iPlayer celebrates 5th birthday today

More than just Christmas day, today, December 25, marks the fifth official birthday of the BBC’s much loved on-demand catch-up service, BBC iPlayer.

Leaving Beta mode and being made widely available on December 25 2007, the past five years has seen the BBC catch-up service rise to become a powerhouse on-demand provider, with the free-to-use service now available on a wide variety of devices from the humble PC to smartphones through the likes of the BBC iPlayer Android app, games consoles and even Sky boxes.

Helping change the way many Brits watch TV and, more recently offering content absorption on the move, the BBC iPlayer has become a frequently utilised broadcasting tool for many with the 4oD and 5onDemand rival accessible via Xbox 360 and a wide variety or Apple and Android powered portable devices.

“When iPlayer launched, some viewers were hesitant,” Kai Henniges, CEO of fellow on-demand service Viewster said. “They couldn’t comprehend why they’d want to watch TV on a PC when they could tape anything they wanted on a video recorder.”

Discussing the rise to prominence of the BBC iPlayer, Henniges added: Fast-forward five years and we’ve seen a massive shift towards on demand internet video services. The UK is now the most likely nation, globally, to watch TV shows online. One in five web users do this every week, according to Ofcom.”

Suggesting that BBC iPlayer, and the on-demand industry as a whole, is still far from reaching its peak, Henniges has predicted that in the coming five years, traditional TV consumption will be largely replaced by on-demand means as user’s wants and needs continue to evolve around incoming technologies.

“Fuelled by even-faster broadband and 4G, the next five years will see online video come close to replacing TV as the main way we watch our favourite shows. By the end of the decade it will,” Henniges said.

“Aside from killing the water cooler moment about last night’s telly, online video will massively impact how brands advertise. We’re already seeing advertising spend shift as brands follow their audiences online. Many brands are finding it difficult to reach younger audiences through traditional TV advertising.”

Are you a frequent BBC iPlayer user? How has the BBC’s on-demand service altered your viewing habits? Let us know via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.

Happy birthday BBC iPlayer and Merry Christmas to all Trusted Reviews readers.

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