Here comes water cooler television

'The BBC yesterday unveiled its long-awaited iPlayer catch-up service, hailing it as the biggest change in the way we watch television since the introduction of colour 40 years ago. After more than three years in development, the corporation said the free catch-up service for all BBC programmes would launch on July 27.

After installing the iPlayer on a PC, viewers will be able to download almost any programme from the previous seven days at will and store it on the computer for up to 30 days, after which it will be automatically deleted. Viewers will be able to search for their favourite shows via a linear schedule, genre or channel. Links to the iPlayer will also be scattered liberally around the BBC website and flagged up after BBC shows.

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett predicted the iPlayer would revolutionise the way we watch television, allowing more people to participate in drama "water cooler" events while at the same time allowing them to discover lesser-watched shows. The BBC's director of future media and technology, Ashley Highfield, said it would become the default means of accessing its programmes on demand as technological advances allowed viewers to watch television "any time, any place, anyhow". He predicted the service would have 1 million users within a year' ~
reports today's Guardian.

But classical music isn't going to be on tap from the digital water cooler. As was revealed On An Overgrown Path in January classical music will be excluded from the BBC's download services because, according to the BBC Trust, "there is a potential negative market impact if the BBC allows listeners to build an extensive library of classical music that will serve as a close substitute for commercially available downloads or CDs." Which means the future of serious music broadcasting lies with the long-tail of radio made accessible by tools like the Radeo internet player.

Lots of interesting back links flow from my headline, including Martini music making and music like water
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Al T. said…
"there is a potential negative market impact if the BBC allows listeners to build an extensive library of classical music..."
It's disappointing that the BBC exec is living in the past and doesn't get the fact that, unlike popular music where the vast majority of "hits" have a short shelf live, classical music is infecting and leads to MORE consumption and usually long after the original performance (how are Heifetz, Bernstein, Casals, Furtwangler, et al. doing?). Not only that, classical music listeners end up as lifelong consumers well into their most affluent years - unlike Black-Eyed Peas fans. And my guess it classical music fans are probably the least inclined to use a Limewire or any other "free" sharing system.
Anonymous said…
'Parachronistic' comes to mind.

Hope they put the music back in, this is just stupid.

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