Tuesday, 15 July 2008

BBC iPlayer development to offer ability to embed BBC content across 3rd party sites - could this open a new BBC revenue stream?

The BBC iPlayer service is continuing to expand by allowing BBC TV content to be embedded on 3rd party sites.

Reported in Marketing 08.07.08, the BBC are planning to develop the BBC iPlayer so that 3rd party sites like blogs and social network profiles can embed BBC clips and entire BBC shows (though sites will be vetted with certain domains blacklisted.)

YouTube benefitted from allowing others to embed YouTube content and the moves to allow a wider distribution of BBC content will see the reach of BBC programming increase. This will empower bloggers and social network users and could strengthen communities around specific niches and interests - being able to embed a particular clip or programme will enhance existing sites and forums.

Moves to allow BBC iPlayer content to be embedded across the internet could also continue the demise of columnists and traditional review pages – especially around TV. This morning the Guardian features a discussion around the extent to which bloggers and free reviews are diminishing the traditional media column inches devoted to critics (http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/visualart) . Whilst the main impact has so far been seen in the US, the article notes that the Telegraph stopped running a TV review in May and regular TV reviews have also gone at the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the Evening Standard. If full BBC TV programmes are available across the internet, it is not hard to imagine that more TV review sections could be culled in the future – why would you want to read what someone else thought of last nights TV if you embed / watch the full episode in your own social space and discuss it with friends accordingly?

Indeed Social TV is growing as we are witnessing live blogging around certain programmes like The Apprentice (http://www.nickburcher.com/2008/06/apprentice-social-tv-demonstrating-how.html), however, unlike sporting events where the interest peaks around the live event, TV content is still engaging long after the original broadcast. The BBC have experimented with content distribution through MySpace ttp://www.nickburcher.com/2008/01/bbc-worldwide-launch-myspace-tv-channel.html and clips for Doctor Who, Top Gear and other BBC programmes have resulted in BBC Worldwide gaining 22400 MySpace ‘friends’. If this success is replicated on a wider scale then the demand for iPlayer embeds will be significant.

The development of the iPlayer also has the potential to change the BBC funding model and increase the importance of online video advertising. Whilst TV viewers value the fact that the BBC does not run commercial advertising on TV, ads on online video / mobile video are generally more accepted and could become a revenue spinner for the BBC. Against increased budget pressure, could the BBC use the improved iPlayer to monetise BBC content online using video pre-rolls and overlays, whilst maintaining commercial free TV broadcasting?

1 comment:

Andrew said...

What's the ETA on this iPlayer?