Today saw the announcement that ITV is the latest broadcaster to change the name of its catch-up service to feature the Player moniker.
So now we have iPlayer from the BBC, Sky Player from Sky and ITV Player from ITV. Notice any connection?
That's right, it seems if you are to have a catch-up, video on demand service in the UK you need to feature the word "Player" in the name.
It's very much like how companies all felt they had to emulate Apple first with "e" in the title of the produce as in eMac and then when Apple ditched "e" for "i" products started to become i this and i that. In fact what makes me laugh most is that is exactly what the BBC did itself with the iPlayer, giving it that "Mac" sense of "coolness" without actually giving it the ability to play on Apple Mac devices at the time of launch.
But why the urge to call everything (insert company name here) Player? ITV today said that it was "to create a more recognisable brand". Perhaps what they really should of said was "to help piggyback off the success of the BBC".
"Catch UP TV", the first name of the ITV player is catchy enough, but lets face it, if you say it quick enough you think of that joke with the two tomatoes where daddy tomato, after stamping on the baby tomato, who is trailing behind says "Ketchup". Anyhoo, I digress.
Even Ben McOwen Wilson, director of online at ITV, said, "The new logo is part of our aim to create a recognisable and consistent brand for video-on-demand content across the web and TV".
Notice how he doesn't say ITV content, just content.
In May Sky gave similar reasons for rebranding its player from Sky Anytime, which makes you think you can watch Sky Anytime, to, you guessed it, Sky Player.
It said at the time it made the changes "in recognition of the public's growing awareness of additional online video 'player' services" in the hope that "the refreshed brand will better help newcomers to the service understand its core functionality", again read "To help those who've seen the barrage of advertising on the Beeb understand that it's not the only 'Player' out there".
But that aim probably comes as some marketing bod looks and reads in amazement as the iPlayer (that's the BBC's one remember) delivers ground-breaking numbers month after month.
For a nation not supposedly into IPTV, or WebTV as some call it, we are starting to consume a stack load of content.
Total requests for BBC iPlayer views online stand at 237 million to the end of November 2008, with a further 61 million TV requests to the end of October to view via Virgin Media's iPlayer offering.
Last month alone, the BBC reveals there were over 35 million requests to view online and, on average, over a million requests to view each day during the month. Impressive stats indeed and no doubt something that someone in ITV, given falling ad sales, hopes they can emulate online.
Strangely the only one bucking the trend is Channel 4's Video On Demand service 4od, which it seems has been quite popular, but how long will it be before it becomes Channel 4 Player?
Whatever the broadcasters do, it seems that if you want to launch a video on demand or catch-up service in the UK on the web it needs to feature the word Player to succeed? Perhaps if Project Kangaroo had named itself the "Players' Player" it might have got through the competitions board after all.