BBC iPlayer Faces DRM Issues & Cross Platform Competition | iPlayer Waste of Time?

1 min read

BBC LogoThe BBC has used 4 years and a lot of money to develop an on demand video player that is out of date before it’s even released.

The upcoming iPlayer, recently announced its July 27th launch, despite being in development since 2003. It will allow users to watch BBC television broadcasts seven days after they are aired.

The idea of the BBC iPlayer sounded great, but the restrictiveness of the iPlayer made a DVR sound like a better option.

The problem? The iPlayer relies on Microsoft’s DRM technology, which means if you aren’t running a Microsoft operating system, you are out of luck. No Linux or Mac versions exist, although the BBC estimates a Mac version may be available by this fall.

The European Commission’s View

The European Commission, however, is already threatening to sue based on a non-compete argument, and the Open Source Consortium is also making a fair amount of noise.

It’s stating that the Beeb should be held to a higher standard of accountability when it comes to making their content available to everyone because of their status as a government-funded media outlet.

What escapes me is why they bothered with their own player at all.

With the already large number of video services available like YouTube, Brightcove, and Joost (to name just a few), I’m supposed to believe that the Beeb HAD to write their own? And in four years of development time couldn’t come up with something that was cross-platform?

The problem with some of these traditional media outlets is that they are failing to see that society is moving toward more freedom of information, irrelevant to platform or software. The BBC wasted four years to release a media platform that’s out-of-date even before its launch date.

Cyndy Aleo-Carreira is a contributing author discussing the social networking world, her work can be found on