Update of 05/11/2017: The BBC has announced that all iPlayer users will need a username and password in the “weeks” to come.
Starting today, the catch-up and live service will begin asking users that they “will have to log in to watch soon,” reports The Guardian.
The deadline to be able to watch without logging in will arrive in the coming weeks – no exact date has been given – and the notification is recessed as an early warning for those who may not be aware of the schedule.
Everyone in the UK will need a BBC iPlayer account to use the on-demand service from early 2017, the broadcasting company said.
The public will have to create an account, which has just been made “more robust and secure”, to access the TV streaming service, as well as the BBC iPlayer Radio and BBC applications.
Despite the fact that users will need to enter their postcode to create an account and that TV Licensing will have access to those details, the BBC says the mandatory system will not be used “for enforcement purposes”. That could change in the future, he adds.
This is the key. On September 1, it was announced that anyone using BBC iPlayer would need a TV license. Even the BBC’s own media correspondent David Sillito questioned the motive for announcing mandatory registrations just weeks after a television license was made necessary. He wrote: “Within a month of extending the license fee to the iPlayer, it’s hard not to see this as just a way to encourage people to pay. The inclusion of a zip code as part of the new mandatory registration information certainly suggests that this could be a way to alert TV licenses to households that are currently unlicensed but are watching the iPlayer. Read more: 45 of the best Netflix series to binge-watch right now
The BBC says the move is part of a redesign of the service designed to provide viewers with personalized, data-driven content, presumably in an attempt to emulate Netflix by delivering specific content. To justify the move, the BBC pointed out that seven million people have signed up for an account since 2015, 70 million viewers have received personalized recommendations, and 22 million emails have been sent highlighting a personalized content. We’re not sure why the company wants to highlight the fact that it plans to take up more space in your inbox, but it proves a point.