BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) is adding an in-browser component to its VOD platform, in addition to the P2P application used for the desktop version of its Sky Anytime VOD platform, as we reported in September. In what it said was an “enhancement”, BSkyB said the revamp “makes navigation and searching for programs easier” because “users can browse content through a simple URL … without first having to log in to a desktop application”, allowing shows “to be deep-linked across Sky.com and its related channel brand websites.”
The Sky Anytime app, Channel 4’s 4OD and BBC’s iPlayer all had the Kontiki distribution software at their heart. After last week’s Kangaroo announcement – of which BSkyB is not yet part – confirmed 4OD will be killed off as a separate application in favour of web-based TV catch-up, however, Sky’s move leaves the BBC’s £4.5 million iPlayer alone amongst major UK broadcasters in using a downloadable application to manage online TV viewing. ITV.com shows programmes in an embedded web player and Kangaroo will initially launch as a web service.
Sky’s new version lets users set their home computer to initiate programme downloads from remote machines, say from at work or a cafe. When we asked in September, BSkyB said the in-browser system was an “experiment”. A spokesperson today told paidContent:UK: “Although Sky Anytime has moved to a browser based application, it does still use P2P technology. As part of the re-launch, the application has moved from being a desktop-based