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The British Broadcasting Corporation - Case Study Example

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The British Broadcasting Corporation

BBC's income from licence fees is estimated at GBP 3 billion per year (Sabbagh, April 2008).
Related to this, the Beeb has come under fire recently for making expensive technological investments in order to improve its reach and distribution to the Internet-savvy population. One of its most highly criticized projects is the BBC iPlayer.
The BBC iPlayer is a free online service created to deliver archived content via the Internet. It acts as a "catch-up" facility where consumers may view past programmes from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News 24, and BBC Parliament ("About BBC IPlayer").
This application has been rebranded several times by the BBC. Since it was first incepted as the "iMP", it has been called the "Integrated Media Player", the "Interactive Media Player", and the "MyBBCPlayer", until it was finally launched as the "BBC iPlayer" or simply, "iPlayer".
The announcement by the BBC of its intent to develop a Creative Archive has been the single most important event in getting people to understand the potential for digital creativity, and to see how such potential actually supports artists and artistic creativity.
If the vision proves a reality, Britain will beco...
It acts as a "catch-up" facility where consumers may view past programmes from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News 24, and BBC Parliament ("About BBC IPlayer").
This application has been rebranded several times by the BBC. Since it was first incepted as the "iMP", it has been called the "Integrated Media Player", the "Interactive Media Player", and the "MyBBCPlayer", until it was finally launched as the "BBC iPlayer" or simply, "iPlayer".
Evolution of the iPlayer Concept
The iPlayer is an output of the BBC Creative Archive, a project that was initiated in 2003. At the time, it was conceptualized as a free resource for non-commercial users (Fisher, 2003).
It was staunch open source proponent Prof. Lawrence Lessig who convinced the BBC to make its unique content available to the public via a Creative Commons License:
The announcement by the BBC of its intent to develop a Creative Archive has been the single most important event in getting people to understand the potential for digital creativity, and to see how such potential actually supports artists and artistic creativity.
If the vision proves a reality, Britain will become a centre for digital creativity, and will drive the many markets - in broadband deployment and technology - that digital creativity will support. ("BBC Creative Archive pioneers new approach", 2004)
At least, this was the plan until the BBC found out later that it did not own the contents of its archive, which is said to comprise some 1.2 million hours of film (Burrell, 2006).
The iPlayer concept, as it developed eventually, is said to be the brainchild of Ashley Highfield, who, until recently, acted as head of the BBC's Future Media and Technology group.
Highfield entered the fray at the height of the ...Show more

Summary

Fondly referred to by the British as "the Beeb", "Auntie", or "Auntie Beeb", it was established in 1922 through a Royal Charter as the British Broadcasting Company. The current Royal Charter took effect in January 2007 and lasts until 2016 (Gibbs, 2007).
With the proliferation of new technology, media, and distribution channels, the BBC is now at a crossroads…
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