BBC’s iPlayer To Debut On Windows Phone Platform

The BBC has announced that its iPlayer will land in Windows Phone platform soon

Making the announcement, BCC confirmed that all handsets running Microsoft’s mobile operating system currently cannot access the catch-up TV and radio service and to end this, the corporation said it will have to allow a web-based version of iPlayer to be accessed via a live tile – or square icon – on the Windows Phone home screen despite work going on to complete its Android app.

The head of the iPlayer team; David Price previously said that Android was “complex and fragmented with a huge difference between video playback capabilities” for different devices, causing problems for his developers.

By wrapping the iPlayer mobile website together with its proprietary Media Player plug-in, the broadcaster can offer access to streamed feeds of its material but will still not be able to let users download programmes for offline use – as is the case with its iOS app.

The move comes months after Microsoft agreed to pay the BBC a fee to use some of its online news stories within its Windows 8 desktop Bing Daily news app.

Nokia recently revealed that the Windows Phone Store now hosts more than 130,000 apps.

However, the marketplace still has notable holdouts including Instagram, Photoshop and an official Dropbox app as well as games including Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto and Temple Run.

However, a spokeswoman for BBC Global News said this latter agreement was a “commercial content licensing deal” and completely separate to the iPlayer contract.

iROKOtv To Launch Nollywood Mobile App On Nokia Lumia

Streaming ‘Nollywood’ movie service iROKOtv has announced that it is partnering with Nokia to launch the Nigerian company’s first mobile app, exclusively on the Windows Phone platform on its Lumia range.

The deal is a way of trying to build momentum for the struggling Finnish phone giant. Nokia which is a major brand in Nigeria has done other content deals on its lower-spec Asha range. This tie-up with the Lagos and London-based company is designed to build awareness for its Lumia range.

For iROKOtv, the deal is about getting access to Nigerian consumers, although the offer is open to any Lumia owner worldwide. A deal in France between Paris-based streaming music service Deezer and Orange resulted in a huge uptake in Deezer users in France. Given that the deal targets just Lumia phones it won’t be on that scale.

Jason Njoku, CEO and Founder of iROKO Partners, said Nokia engineers had worked with iROKOtv to help them build the app. “Most importantly, they have helped to optimise it for Nigeria’s networks.”

Mr. Njoku expected Lumia users in Nigeria, who will get the first three months access to iROKOtv’s premium service free, mainly to access the library of 5,000 movies over Wi-Fi networks, although “a lot done technically with this app to make it feasible to use on 3G.”

The app will give customers extras including interviews with Nollywood stars and additional news.

Formed in 2010 by Mr. Njoku, the company started life as a YouTube channel before launching as a company in its own right in 2010.

While iROKOtv has been successful in targeting the Nigerian ex-pat community mainly in London and New York, where the company has offices, reaching African consumers has been harder, Mr. Njoku said.

“2013 is Africa year. We are very focused on finding African solutions. There are more people using iROKOtv in London than there is in the whole of Nigeria. This is ridiculous.”

Mr. Njoku closed an $8 million funding investment round from Tiger Global in April 2012.