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Project Kangaroo sees Ashley Highfield hop on over
Monday 14 April 2008 15:38:59 by Andrew Ferguson

It must be something to do with the spring, but executives in high flying jobs appear to be having a musical chairs period. Ashley Highfield has left his executive job in the BBC and moved to the BBC Worldwide Project Kangaroo as chief executive.

BBC Worldwide is the commercial arm of the BBC which sells BBC content around the world and generated £111 million of profit which was fed back into the BBC to subsidise the licence fee.

Project Kangaroo is not new, it has been in development for a while and will offer BBC content over the internet worldwide on a pay per view or advertising funded basis it is thought. The project is a joint venture between C4, ITV and the BBC with the aim being to increase audience sizes for shows and generate income. The advertising may develop into a targeted advertising system, to allow advertisers to get a better return on the money they spend.

The development of the iPlayer was a lengthy birth and the P2P based client is ignored by many, with people preferring the immediate streaming that the web based version of the service can offer. The commericial market has produced many sites where video can be downloaded for a fee and the BBC and C4 are already utilising iTunes for this. A big difference with Kangaroo is the opportunity to better integrate it on a stations website and the multitude of micro-sites each show occupies.

The Guardian has reported on speculation that Kangaroo may launch in June this year so we may not have to wait too long to see what innovative technology is embedded within the Kangaroo service. The BBC iPlayer for all its hype is just another streaming website that has to transcode its material to run across multiple platforms and a seperate P2P client for Windows based playback. With services like Joost and myTVPal and others appearing monthly, the room for innovation is limited, unless innovation just means a fancy new graphical web interface onto existing systems.

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