BBC iPlayer Is About To Change Again

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Since the beginning of September, anyone wanting to watch BBC iPlayer (legally) has been required to buy a TV licence – even if they're watching programmes on demand. As if that change wasn't enough, our beloved lonely-night companion is about to change again. From early 2017, viewers must log in with a personal account or they will be blocked from using the service, the BBC reported. This will involve creating a BBC ID by creating a password and giving personal details, including our postcodes, to the corporation. The BBC said it will allow the broadcaster to better tailor its content to the individual, allowing it to make more personalised recommendations, such as local weather and programme suggestions. "Data analysis of the BBC programmes people watch and enjoy will increasingly be used to influence future commissioning choices," the corporation said. In theory, the data would also enable the BBC to identify anyone using the iPlayer without a TV licence by cross-referencing people's names against the TV Licensing database, reported the i. However, the BBC said it doesn't currently plan to use the data in this way and that the change isn't linked to the new licence fee requirement. BBC users already have the option of creating a BBC ID with a username and password, but it isn't currently mandatory in order to access iPlayer. The seven million people who already have these account will be required to log out and log in again from today and will be asked for their postcode, the i reported. The good news is that the new log-in system could allow viewers to watch BBC iPlayer abroad. Finally! Tony Hall, the BBC's Director-General, said the change showed the corporation is "reinventing public service broadcasting for the digital age". If it means we can get our BBC fix while stuck in a far-flung hotel (rather than relying solely on the trusty World Service), we're game.

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