BBC to broadcast 6 short films exclusively on iPlayer

BBC iPlayer

Catch-up televisions is changing into a real channel with BBC producing exclusive content for their iPlayer service. The short films will be filmed by “up and coming talent” and broadcast during the next two years writes the BBC on their blog.

With Netflix produces its own television series and BBC experimenting with exclusive iPlayer content, one wonders if others will follow.

iPlayer coming to Windows Phone, no Netflix for BlackBerry

BBC iPlayer

The BBC today announced that the BBC iPlayer will be available on Windows Phone. More or less. Instead of having a native app, BBC will offer an iPlayer icon that can be downloaded from the Windows Phone Store. After installing, it will appear as a live tile on your phone screen. With the tile, you can access the mobile website of iPlayer. Expect the availability around the summer.

Whereas Microsoft had this little success with adding a prominent app to its library, BlackBerry failed to get the attention from Netflix. They simply think the platform too small. So after LOVE Film and Sky Go, another video streaming app will be absent in the BlackBerry Store.

Of course, these things can change overnight. BlackBerry can decide to throw some money at it if they find it really important. Or, if the new BlackBerry proves succesful, Netflix can decide to build an app afterall. Especially if there will be a new BlackBerry tablet running the new OS soon. There was a rumour about that last week and I personally I think BlackBerry really needs one if they want to have even a chance to come back.

Updated BBC iPlayer: iOS to support AirPlay, Favourites back in Android app, Sports app for Android

BBC iPlayer

BBC has been a frontrunner when it comes to adopting internet and mobile as a serious channel next to and in addition to the traditional screen. The introduction of the iPlayer at the time (back in 2007 already!) was a tipping point for traditional broadcasters to embrace mobile. At least in Europe. And BBC has been keeping up the innovation ever since.

The last few days they, BBC introduced an update of both the iOS and the Android App and they finally launched a Sports app for Android.

iPlayer for iOS
Next the some bug fixes and tweaks, version 2.0.3 is optimised for the iPhone 5. Basically, this means a real full screen experience without any black bars. The iPad version includes some minor improvements like the possibility to get a transparent overlay when hitting the button “More” whereas the option “Live Channels” allow to switch channels during a live broadcast.
Most exciting news however, is the inclusion of support for Apple AirPlay. Owners of an Apple TV now can easily stream whatever they are watching on their iPhone or iPad to their television.

iPlayer for Android
With the update of the Android app, the BBC iPlayer has fixed some minor issues, improved the image quality and loading times and reintroduced the Favourites button. The latter disappeared after the initial introduction but is making a comeback now.
The biggest buzz around the updated version of the app is not what is in it, but what is not. The iOS version of iPlayer got the possibility to download a programme to enable viewing even without an internet connection (or a bad one / one that will cost you a fortune). Obviously Android owners would love to see this options in their app as well. But it is not there (yet). The BBC knows that people waiting for it and they left them with a note “I know what you’re thinking – ‘Where are downloads?’ Rest assured this feature remains a priority and we are working hard to determine when this can be included for Android users.” Let’s hope they will have figured it out soon.

Android Sports iPlayer
Sports is a big thing in Britain (and the Commonwealth) so no surprise that the BBC is focussing on that field particularly. After releasing a dedicated Sports app for iOS last month, now the Android version has landed.
The app is optimised for 4 and 7 inch screens, granting Nexus, but also Amazon Kindle Fire owners, the best experience.
The content is generally the same as on the BBC Sports mobile website. One will get live text commentaries on all the big football matches, football results and live scores, the latest on transfers and other gossip and live streaming video.
But it is not all football, the app contains information about formula 1, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis and golf as well. signs deal with BBC Worldwide for a 300 hour programme package

The viewers in 15 former Soviet countries wanted it, so now is bringing it to them. A selection of British shows from BBC Worldwide including drama (Luther and Sherlock), comedy, science, cookery, documentary, natural history (Frozen Planet, Human Planet) and children’s content will be available on currently reaches 13 million unique visitors per month with their 20.000 hours of streaming content. The service is ad supported and therefor free to watch on devices like iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets but also on Smart TV’s from LG, Samsuns and Sony.