While television is increasingly moving its accessibility to the internet and on demand services, the BBC is following suit and has plans to begin premièring select shows via their on demand service iPlayer.
Netflix has become the first platform to commission a fully funded series to go straight to their on demand service. 13 episodes of House of Cards became available instantly on Netflix last week. Now, as the BBC reports, they have plans to follow suit by trialling 40 hours of programming over the next 12 months to go directly online. The BBC has released a few things only online before, but they have been pilots and much smaller spin off shows, such as Dr Who spin off 'Pond Life'.
These plans come after it was reported that 2012 had record highs of iPlayer requests, making it the most used on demand service in the UK. With 2.32 billion requests for shows over the year you can see why. Highest requests came from the Olympics and Jeremy Clarkson's car magazine show, Top Gear, with specific day highs coming in the days following the Christmas and New Year scheduling. Although iPlayer views account for only an estimated 2% of overall BBC views, with iPlayer's numbers consistently on the rise, it certainly makes sense investing in the trial as broadcasting evolves.
Netflix invested $100m in House of Cards and with viewing figures not having been released yet, or news as to whether their subscriptions have risen, the show has yet to prove itself to be worth that enormous investment. The BBC is unlikely to invest such an amount in their trial year, let's hope their more tentative approach proves to be a success.