BBC iPlayer launch slips by quietly

The BBC’s new iPlayer was launched a few days ago and there’s not been too much fuss about it on the blogs or forums yet. I think this is a deliberately low key launch because of the beta status of the iPlayer, but things are likely to pick up pretty quick.

In many ways, it could well be the biggest forward step in Internet services in many years. iPlayerThe iPlayer is essentially a catch-up service (so that you can watch programmes from the past seven days free of charge over the Internet), but it’s a toe in the door. What it means in the longer term is the BBC making all of its content available free of charge over the web – possibly(!).

Youtube has (very quickly and subtly) become an unofficial TV archive, where clips of shows, music, cult or otherwise are now increasingly accessible. What the BBC is doing with the iPlayer is a large move towards legitimising the internet broadcast (the beeb obviously has more weight as a broadcaster than we’d care to mention). Letting go of it’s property, yet keeping it at the same time.

Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC has a lot of interesting things to say on the way things are shaping up here on a 20 minute video (on Youtube, naturally).

In our recent blog post on RSS Feed Help, we talked about ‘letting go’ of your content by syndicating it. The BBC is doing this now – not just with its news service (through its website feeds), but its valuable Audio / Visual archive. Interesting times ahead.

Register for the iPlayer beta here to see what it’s all about.