BBC iPlayer users to log in to use catch-up service from 2017

Streaming TV

Viewers of the BBC’s iPlayer service, which enables you to catch-up on TV rather than relying on live broadcasts, will need to ensure they have their details to hand in “early 2017”, as they’ll need them to access the corporation’s online services.

From early 2017, the BBC will begin asking all viewers and listeners to sign in to BBC iPlayer, BBC iPlayer Radio, and some of its mobile apps – something users don’t currently have to do.

In addition, seven million users of the BBC’s existing login function; which includes services such as personalising iPlayer content for you depending on what you tend to watch, will need to add their postcode from today.

Moneywise reported earlier this month how you now need to own a TV licence to use iPlayer – if you don’t have one you risk a fine of £1,000.

Today’s news of creating individual logins could be seen as a move towards ensuring people have a licence to watch iPlayer, although according to a report on BBC News, the corporation has no current plans to use the data garnered for enforcement purposes.

Why is the BBC making these changes?

The BBC says these changes are to help make its “content, products and services more personalised and tailored to all viewers and listeners”.

Tony Hall, BBC director-general, says: “I want everyone to get the very best from the BBC. By learning about what you want and like we can take you to more of the great programmes you love, stories you might be interested in and content you might otherwise never have discovered.”

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it would be good if, having introduced a system of identifying users and that they have a licence, the BBC would then enable access whilst abroad.

Hi Portland Bill - the BBC say that no, this won't let you view from abroad. They recommend downloading the show onto your computer from iPlayer while you're still in the UK. Not very helpful for soaps etc., I know :(