BBC standardizing on Flash for web video

I’m at Qcon London listening to John O’Donovan, Chief Architect, and Kevin Hinde, Head of Software Development, both from the BBC.

They are talking about video on bbc.co.uk. Previously this has been handled through pop-up pages that give a choice between Windows Media Player and Real Media. The BBC will now be standardising on Adobe Flash video, embedded in the page rather than in a pop-up. Their research has found that embedded video has a much better click-through than the pop-up style. It also has editorial implications, because it is better integrated into the page. In due course, Flash will be the sole public format (an archive is also kept in some other format).

There is going to be increasing video on the site. Apparently the BBC is getting better at negotiating rights to video content, and we can expect lots of video from this year’s Olympics, for example.

As far as I can tell, this has nothing to do with iPlayer, the service which offers the last 7 days of broadcasting online. This is mainly about short videos of news content.

Incidentally, I’m disappointed that we are not getting more detail on the rebuilding of the web platform about which I posted earlier, though it has been mentioned in passing as a move to dynamic publishing. That was more interesting to me, and perhaps more in tune with what Qcon is about. Still, this is worthwhile as well.

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1 comment to BBC standardizing on Flash for web video

  • This is great and couldn’t come soon enough for me – streamed embedded video in Flash has been the norm for at least a couple of years now with the likes of YouTube, and it’s always puzzled me how an otherwise innovative publisher like the BBC took so long to make the switch.