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The BBC has overcome Microsoft’s wish for iPlayer to be bundled with its paid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
The catch-up TV service on Tuesday became the latest TV app to launch in the Xbox Dashboard’s app initiative, for free with no subscription requirement (announcement).
Although the BBC has become reluctant to custom-build iPlayer apps for the burgeoning number of new devices, Xbox Kinect’s TV interface represents a sufficiently interesting new opportunity.
Users can swipe through iPlayer’s menus as well as navigate programming by voice control.
iPlayer had been available on Wii and Playstation 3 as an app and through the web browser for some time now. They made up five percent of iPlayer requests in September.
The BBC’s Xbox delay were the Xbox’s lack of web browser and, paidContent understands, that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) had initially wanted to give access only to paid-up Xbox Live Gold members – something which would have run contrary to the stipulation that the BBC must provide its services free at the point of use to UK license fee payers.
But Microsoft’s stance thawed late in 2011 when it announced several TV partners would bring in Xbox apps that could be outside as well as inside its Gold subscription.
I would expect Xbox to become one of the platforms on which iPlayer is most used.