The BBC’s new iPlayer has gotten off to a flying start. The broadcaster reports that in its first week, more than 120,000 people have downloaded the beta version of the service. The BBC predicts that it will have 500,000 downloads in the first six months of service, and that it will account for 11 percent of all catch-up and simulcast viewing by 2011.
Channel 4 also predicts that it will soon reach 500,000 users for its on-demand service 4oD. Both the iPlayer and 4oD are based on peer-to-peer technology, which has had a bad rap because of its more notorious association with illegal file sharing. “P2P has certain connotations in the industry. But then [the industry] realizes why people are illegally using P2P –the answer is that it is the most advanced, sophisticated and efficient way to distribute content if done legitimately with digital rights management,” Jeff Richards, vice president of digital content services at Verisign, the technology firm behind the service, told the Guardian.