BBC To Begin Streaming BBC One Live

Following last year's launch of iPlayer and this year's Euro 2008 live streams, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will begin streaming its flagship BBC One station in a live simulcast starting in 2009.

"Building on the success of the iPlayer," said BBC director-general Mark Thompson as part of the BBC's annual statement of programme policy 2008/2009, "we want to develop to include a broad range of the BBC’s broadcast content, as well as new and interactive forms of media that enable audiences to interact with and contribute to the website." BBC's Flash-based iPlayer has, to date, had over 75 million streams since it launched on Christmas Day 2007.

iPlayer Use Continues to Grow
According to Ashley Highfield, BBC director of future media and technology, the most popular programmes on the service were Doctor Who and The Apprentice, which dominate the 20 most requested video clips. Back in January, two weeks after launch, Highfield also noted that more than 3.5m programs had been streamed or downloaded on demand.

"The growth curve continues to trend upwards," said Highfield, "with 21 million requests for streamed and downloaded shows during the month of April. Daily requests hit 900,000 during one Sunday in May, showing that the trend is increasing."

37% of iPlayer users are between 16 and 34, with a higher percentage (43%) in the middle ages of 35-54. About 21% of viewers are over 55, according to the BBC.

"Streams are outnumbering downloads by a factor of eight to one," Highfield said just after launch, adding that he thought the ratio “eventually might settle at one download for every three streams, especially when we have implemented bookmarking (pre-ordering of programmes to be downloaded, possibly ahead of transmission so that they are available in your ‘download manager’ immediately after the programme has aired) and ‘series stacking’ (downloading the first few episodes of a drama and binging on them to catch up with the story)."

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