BBC: iPlayer is our 'Kodak moment'

BBC - we are having our 'Kodak moment' with iPlayer
BBC smiles for the camera

The BBC is putting measures in place so that it doesn't 'do a Kodak' with the iPlayer by innovating in the VOD space only for its rivals to overtake it further it down the line.

Speaking at the IP&TV World Forum with TechRadar in attendance, Matthew Littleford, general manager of BBC iPlayer, used Kodak as an example of a company that got it wrong because it didn't embrace the things it created.

"Kodak originally made a low cost camera but actually made the majority of its money from the chemicals used to create the photographs," Littleford explained.

"It then created a digital camera, but its board decided not to go down this route as it would cannibalise its analogue market. But it went bankrupt in January this year – it's crazy a company who created the digital camera could go bankrupt.

"That 'Kodak moment' for me is a tipping point – we can set the iPlayer up for the future or resign it to obsolescence."

No overtaking

While Littleford doesn't believe that VOD will overtake linear television anytime soon, he believes that the iPlayer needs to be readied for the future.

"Linear television definitely isn't dead and traditional television isn't going to disappear," he explained.

"But alternatives are there and it is vital for us as a business to be aware of this. We are having the 'Kodak moment' right now, we don't want to come up with catch-up TV and then see everyone else overtake us."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.