StrategyEye reports that the BBC is to share iPlayer technology with its rivals. In fact the sharing plan goes beyond this–including the use of the iPlayer brand, which BBC has heavily invested in over the past few years:
ITV and Channel 4 will rebrand their online VoD services as iPlayer if the technology sharing plan is enacted, reports the Guardian. As well as saving money for its competitors, BBC sources claim the high-speed platform will become an industry standard.
This is a good step towards enacting the benefits of a BBC Public License, potentially going even further than I had expected, to include sharing the brand equity of iPlayer.
One hopes it won’t be limited to Channel 4 and ITV but also be available with anyone with video content they want to share. Why limit it to those who are already on the inside of the media inner circle? It raises the bar for genuinely new entrants into the field.
One alternative might be for iPlayer to become a distribution platform akin to Sky or Freeview. The BBC could spin it out and build a commercial, arms length relationship with Iplayer; as could ITV, C4, Sky and your next door neighbour. In this case the BBC would open the technology, the brand asset and the ownership to the public. Nice.
As a license payer I am all for turning a cost line in the license fee into a capital asset on the balance sheet of the Beeb.