BBC IMP

The MediaGuardian has just reported on some findings abut the IMP presented by the BBC’s Interactive supremo, Ashley Highfield. There’s also some more about it, at the BBC’s Press site.

It’s also interesting to look at the results when compared to the DVB-H trial in Oxford and the DAB-IP trial from BT Movio in London. What all this data shows is that there’s a desire for consumers to exert more control over how they consume more media, it’s also good to see that it’s breaking established patterns and understanding about consumption. For example, the BBC trial showed that 10pm to 11pm became a prime-downloading time. In the on-demand world ‘prime time’ is dead. People are consuming the content that they want at times that suit them.

The BBC trial also showed the importance of strong masthead programming aligned with assiduous cross-promotion of new content. The fact that BBC3 had similar usage levels to BBC2 and that BBC7 performed as strongly Radio 1 and Radio 2 is a great wake-up call to any media producer that thinks apparently marginal programming (well, as described by RAJAR and BARB) won’t have a strong audience when the consumer is told about something they might like.

To me it shows that consumers are activley disaggregating content from established channels. Suddenly those ‘branding’ budgets for mainstream channels might seem a little generous. Pehaps their will be more value generated by spending it on interesting, or at least strongly-cross-promotable content.

The other thing I found interesting was that people only watched/listened to half of what they downloaded. I think this will be a useful statistic for podcasters who whilst they know how many of their editions have been downloaded, the visibility on actual plays is somewhat lacking.

As a licence fee payer, well, as a licence fee paying household, it’s great that I can pick up the content that I pay for, on the move. However, commercial operators should be shaking in the boots at the possibility of the MyBBCPlayer as suddenly it ties consumers into watching more and more BBC content. That means less and less opportunities for commercial operators to attract the attention of the viewing public. It will be interesting to see if the BBC offer/are forced to offer participation in the project from other broadcasters.