Goodbye pop-up player – BBC to embed all video

image of bbc’s flash video player

The BBC is to phase out the pop-up player that it currently uses to host the majority of its audio and video content in favour of a newly developed embedded Flash player.

The new player has been developed jointly by the journalism and iPlayer teams, so says the BBC Internet blog, as a replacement for the pop-up which relies on using Real or Windows Media formatted video.

Use of the new payer has so far been limited, but over the coming weeks embedded video is expected to become the norm.

It’s hardly surprising, last year Pete Clifton, head of BBC News Interactive, talked to about the experimental use of embedded players across the BBC News online.

During that interview Clifton said that initial tests had shown up to a 40 per cent conversion rate, where people reading stories were also watching the embedded video.

In its standalone player format, he added, the conversion rate was about two per cent. Channel 4 News found about the same.

But he also touched on a another significant point; video embedded into stories, he added, was proving to be popular with audiences as these videos tended to dispense with the traditional news ‘package’ format, instead just showing the footage necessary to enhance the text story sitting beneath the embedded player.

Getting this right is as important as changing the technology to a more user-friendly approach.

So it’s win-win. Better standard of content and technology for the user, fewer headaches for the developers having to reformat all the video

The Crown Jewels indeed.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye pop-up player – BBC to embed all video

  1. David Dunkley Gyimah

    At an Online News Association gathering BBC Tech Ed revealed their findings for embedded vid here.

    Embedded video with text/story supporting the vid was the theme behind; a still or animated pic clicked through to a vid.

    What perhap’s interesting now about embedded vid is how it can be modelled to support multiple story telling and video hyperlinking.

    There’s always multiple POVs to story telling and its maturation – ensuing converations. Embed vid provides the potential to access multiple strands, which is what the mash-up between broad/narrow and citizen casting’s been looking for. No?

  2. Trevor

    I used to watch BBC news 24 on my pda via the pop up player. This does not seem to be possible with the embedded version. I wonder if this is possible, if not surely I won’t be alone in my dissapointment of not being able to use this service.


  3. Tony Preece

    The new embedded player is great – in theory! My download speed is 1Mbs but it is not fast enough to synchronise audio and visual. It is unwatchable and I can’t be alone. Others such as YouTube are fine.

    Moans to the webmaster just get an automated response, let’s hope that the BBC monitor complaints and can do something about it. I’ve stopped looking at their news, its too frustrating!

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