“Our BBC iPlayer service, launching on 27 July, offering the last seven days of the BBC’s TV programmes on–demand over the internet, has already helped all the players in the UK on–demand space. We established the rights frameworks with the relevant rights bodies such as PACT. We established the technology framework that enabled us to use a peer–to–peer service that kept our distribution costs down whilst keeping our rights holders happy, a framework that has been copied by both Sky and Channel 4. And by working closely with the internet service providers like Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media, we believe the BBC iPlayer will drive new broadband take–up, and demand for higher connection speeds. Market impact? Yes – a positive one!
BBC iPlayer is a service for everyone in the UK. The BBC earns over £500m from the international exploitation of its content, every penny of which goes back into making better programmes for the British public. We therefore needed to ensure, through the use of digital rights management, DRM, that our programmes could be viewed, in high quality, in the UK, for free, but not get instantly distributed around the world and undermine our international licensing and syndication deals.
DRM is not popular, but having it means the difference between being able to afford to make Blue Planet or not. Protecting our content is not optional anyway. A third of our content is made by independent producers who insist we protect our content as their future depends on exploiting that content themselves outside our rights window.”