The BBC to support iPlayer with “full marketing launch”

The BBC is planning one of its largest integrated ad campaigns to support the launch of on-demand service iPlayer. It say there will be a “full marketing launch” for the player in the autumn.

The campaign, which will be led by head of digital and new media marketing David Bainbridge, will claim that the iPlayer will make the “unmissable, unmissable”.

The iPlayer will allow consumers to download a programme from the past seven days and will have 30 days in which to watch it. BBC director of future media and technology Ashley Highfield says the iPlayer is a free catch-up service for UK licence fee payers.

He says he expects 500,000 users within six months and a million after a year. But he adds that there is no reason that within “three or four years” there would be “no reason” for the service not to have 16m users, the number of people accessing the BBC web portal each month.

The marketing support will run across the corporation’s TV channels as well as having a heavy online presence. The iPlayer logo and details will also be rolled across programme advertising.

The BBC has also partnered with content and networking sites including YouTube and Facebook. They will air promotional clips of programmes, allowing users to link back to BBC iPlayer on, enabling them to download the full programme.

Earlier this week the BBC confirmed the iPlayer would go live to the public in open Beta on July 27, allowing the number of users to increase over the summer in a “controlled manner”, before the full marketing launch in the autumn.

The service will also be rolled out across the Apple Mac platform and on cable with Virgin Media, allowing consumers to access the iPlayer from their television sets.

Eventually, the iPlayer will be rolled out across other television platforms, mobile phones and PDAs.

It is not known which roster agencies will lead the marketing push.

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