Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/blake/
MediaGuardian reports that the BBC iPlayer is seeing significant growth while ITV.com has been left “trailing”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for ITV, nor the other commercial broadcasters. In this situation, a smaller piece of a bigger pie is better than a large piece of a small pie. With new and emerging technology, the major battle is for it to gain traction and acceptance among the mainstream. Fortunately for ITV et al, not only does the BBC have the muscle (and the inclination) to do this, but its unique status means that there will only be limited opportunity for advertising revenues. Once the technology embeds, this leaves it the smaller, commercial rivals to battle it out with the Joosts, babelgums and so on for the cash.
Furthermore, there is a rather large Kangaroo looming on the horizon, and it has yet to be finalised how this is to fit in with these different offerings. At the launch it was announced:
BBC iPlayer content will be listed within the new service, while Channel 4’s website will host a catch-up service which will see 4oD “evolve into the new [Kangaroo] service”.
Channel 4 are suitably vague, while there is no mention of how ITV.com, Five Download (notably absent from the launch) and any other eager player will fit in alongside this service.
Interesting, a quote from the article read:
“Right now, however, the big winner is YouTube, which accounts for over a third of online video viewing, according to comScore,” “This suggests that short-form entertainment may be more appealing to internet audiences.”
Can the iPlayer and the Kangaroo buck this trend, or will it be the clips that drive online video usage. For me, that will be decided by future broadband speeds. My online viewing is rarely planned, and so I prefer to stream low quality clips than plan a high-quality download. If only I lived in Japan.