When the BBC launched it's iPlayer service, a way for people to listen to shows from the BBC radio and TV stations from the past 7 days, it was hailed as a great step forward. With more than 139 million requests in October, it's currently the largest VoD service in the UK, comparable in scope with Hulu in the US. Unfortunately, the iPlayer service has been limited to UK citizens only. Now, the BBC has announced that it's coming to the US with a subscription based model, initially as an iPad app. The iPlayer app will allow people to watch popular BBC shows on demand like Dr Who. So far, the only way people outside of the UK has been able to get some of the BBC shows was through third party services like iTunes, or from networks who bought the rights to redistribute shows on their channels. Now, a single app will allow the BBC to provide that content directly to users for a monthly fee. The service should be live at some point next year.
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Netgem has launched its iplayer, which allows download of subscription-free programs for as far back as a week for up to 30 days of HD playback. The device originated in 2003 as an IMP (integrated media player,) but now includes one touch recording, podcasts on TV, streaming radio, media sharing from your PC, music and video capture, PC exporting and auto-upgrades.
According to Screen Digest data, 520.2 million pieces of content were streamed in 2006, mostly for free. They believe this amount will jump to 2.3 billion by 2011. Contact Netgem if you would like to register for the iplayer, which is now is by invitation only, but will expand by the end of the summer. Frankly, we think Netgem should get together with Netflix, in light of its recent troubles.
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