The BBC Trust has given the green light to a series of proposals for on demand services including the much delayed iPlayer. Over 10,500 individuals and organisations responded to the BBC’s first Public Value Test. Commenting on the approval Diane Coyle, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s PVT Steering Group, said: “Thanks to the thorough assessment through the Public Value Test, and with the modifications which resulted from the test and the consultation, the Trust is satisfied that the BBC’s new on-demand services will create significant public value with limited market impact. We have therefore given our final approval for the services to be launched.”
The Trust has approved a seven day catch up television service over the Internet. Once downloaded the user will be able to keep their recordings for up to 30 days. There will also be a seven-day catch-up TV service over cable; the simulcasting of the BBC’s linear channels over the Internet and Non-DRM (digital rights management) audio downloads over the Internet (known to us all as podcasting).
But conditions attached to the Series Stacking feature have been changed. The Trust has needed to balance responses from the industry and BBC Executive with its popularity with the British public. Series Stacking is where a series remains on an on demand service until all the episodes in a particular season have been transmitted. The Trust has imposed a 15% annual quota on programmes that can feature Series Stacking and has issued editorial guidelines.
The Trust has also changed the condition relating to the platform neutrality of DRM downloads over the Internet. This follows concerns that the Corporation was aligning itself too closely to Microsoft, putting Mac and Linux uses at a disadvantage. The Trust says it will monitor the progress of the BBC’s commitment to platform neutrality and has requested updates on a six-monthly basis.