BBC to consider "bespoke" iPlayer for devices with half a million users

The BBC's iPlayer catch-up on demand service might well be heading to many more hand-held gadgets soon, thanks to new guidelines published by the Beeb regarding "bespoke development" of the platform for devices with a certain amount of users.

Although when the iPlayer launched in 2007 the BBC was heavily criticised for making it only available for Windows PC, in the time since it has now launched onto more than 20 different platforms and devices.

Currently racking up 100 million streams a month, more than a quarter of views are through Virgin Media, just under 10% through the PS3 while the BBC notes, "increasingly users are also accessing iPlayer on mobile devices".

By the end of 2009, the BBC wants to add more platforms but says "to deliver a high-quality user experience we sometimes need to adapt the product ourselves, and the huge variation of standards in the market makes this an expensive and complex process".

So guidelines have now been published that state: "The BBC will consider bespoke development of iPlayer technology for specific device families with an installed base of over 500,000" while those with 100,000 users will mean the BBC will consider "adjusting" its tech.