The service has been made available for free and without advertising to users in Britain, whereas overseas users will have to pay to watch ad-free BBC content, or choose to view content with advertisements for free.
The popularity of online television and video is growing at fast pace. Videos on Google-owned YouTube, now account for 10 per cent of all traffic on the internet, according to analysts Ellacoya Networks. BBC eventually plans to expand how it distributes content, hoping to reach an audience beyond computer users:
“Our vision is for BBC iPlayer to become a universal service available not just for over the Internet, but also on cable and other TV platforms, and eventually on mobiles and smart handheld devices.”
The iPlayer presently works only with PCs running Windows XP and Windows Media Player version 10 or later. Versions for other platforms, including Mac OS and Windows Vista, will be available by the end of this year.