Telco 2.0™ Research

The Future Of Telecoms And How To Get There

BBC's iPlayer nukes "all you can eat" ISP business model

The UK's largest broadcaster finally launched its online video streaming and download service on Christmas Day 2007. Plusnet, a small ISP owned by BT,  has provided a preliminary analysis of the traffic and the results should send shivers down the spine of any ISP currently offering an unlimited "all-you-eat" service.

The iPlayer service is basically a 7-day catch-up service which enables people who missed and didn't record a broadcast to watch the programme at their leisure on a PC connected to the internet. The iPlayer differs from any other internet-based video service in certain key respects:

It is funded by the £135.50 annual licence fee which pays for the majority of BBC activities.

  1. The BBC collected 25.1m licence fees in 2006/7. No advertising is required for the iPlayer business model to work.
  2. It is heavily promoted on the BBC broadcast TV channels. The BBC had a 42.6% share of overall UK viewing in 2006/7 and therefore a lot of people already know about the existence of the iPlayer after one month of launch.
  3. it is a high quality service and is designed for watching whole programmes rather than consumption of small vignettes.
This is sharp contrast to the current #1 streaming site, YouTube. Click here to read more