The BBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of the BBC’s popular video-on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE free platform. BBC iPlayer is now available on every major gaming platform in the UK.
The launch means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programs available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK. Users will be able to catch up on all the BBC programs they know and love in a familiar, easy to use BBC iPlayer experience.
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Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality. For the first time it is possible for BBC iPlayer users to discover and play programs using hand gestures and voice recognition.
The launch on Xbox LIVE today, together with the launch on Sky later this year, BBC brings the service to millions of new users via the TV and builds on a substantial history of industry partnerships. BBC iPlayer is now on over 450 platforms and devices including Virgin Media, BT Vision, FreeSat, Freeview, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and hundreds of mobile phones, tablets, and internet-connected TVs.
Daniel Danker, BBC General Manager, Programs & On-Demand, said: “Xbox is hugely successful in the UK. Given the BBC’s goal to reach its entire audience, I’m particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost as part of Xbox LIVE’s free membership.”
“As we continue our work to make BBC iPlayer as simple as possible, we’re also excited to experiment with natural user interfaces made possible with Kinect, including voice and gesture control. We believe it’s early days for these experiences, but see a great future working with partners such as Microsoft on innovations like these.”
The BBC has seen 433 million requests on TV devices in 2011. This means one in four iPlayer requests are on the TV. At this rate, the BBC projects that by 2015, over 50% of requests will be via TV devices.
About BBC iPlayer
Launching on December 2007 as a simple catch-up website, BBC iPlayer has helped pioneer TV on demand by offering audiences the opportunity to watch selected TV programs for up to 7 days after broadcast. BBC iPlayer has since evolved, adding more TV programs; including entire series and films, radio programs, live TV channels & radio station, program downloads for offline viewing and personalization features such as Favorites and recommendations.
Variants of BBC iPlayer optimized for smartphones, tablets and connected TVs are also available, allowing audiences to catch-up or watch live wherever they are and on whatever device – offering access on the move over 3G and WiFi , or simple & convenient access via broadband on the living room TV.
Access the BBC iPlayer here.