An idea for iPlayer mobile

(or TED, or any video-based mobile app)

When I open the application, I want the app to gauge my time and serve me content accordingly. It could ask me ‘How much time do you have?’ but that’s boring. My thinking is you could get quite cheeky with the measurement –

First question: location. Based upon your answer to this, the app takes an educated guess as to the length of video you want to consume at this time.

Like so –


“Hi, where are you? In bed, on the train or on the toilet?”

In bed, you get everything; on the train, you get everything up to say…  30mins? – and on the toilet, well, you get content up to ten minutes. Obviously there’d be other (probably more user-defined) options available, but you get my point

I’ve mentioned this before (to the Beeb itself at one point) and I don’t know why this hasn’t been done or why content isn’t browse-able by length at all* in fact. I’ve got a 15 minute journey ahead of me so therefore I’d like to see all content that is 15mins or under in length. Simple.


What is the behaviour of your mobile user?


*if it has, I haven’t seen it and well, I fully expect to get told about it within minutes of hitting publish….

Last updated by at .

Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

7 thoughts on “An idea for iPlayer mobile”

  1. Genius! Although I think it perhaps has a better use in games. But any video site (like YouTube) would be well advised to do this.

    Hmmm… You’ve given me an idea for a weekend hack….

    whatleydude Reply:

    Games is definitely a good idea, especially given as most (of the mobile kind) are positioned as snack-sized in content/levels… If I knew that I had a 45min journey ahead, then I’d be up for a bit more in-depth play, for sure.

    Cool man, hack-inspiration FTW 😉

  2. Would agree it’s a great idea,but as an avid user of BBC iPlayer and someone with an occasional lack of decent data coverage, tend to download and save video on phone for quick viewing, but having the ability to find content by time length as well as genre would still be beneficial 🙂 Nice ‘outside the box’ thinking James, oops ! Forgot, that’s your job ? 😛

  3. Tis an option on the iOS TED app squire.

    Hit ‘Inspire Me’ and you get a ask what kind of content you want to see (courageous, funny, persuasive, ingenious etc), then you can choose how much time you have (from 5 – 60 minutes) and a playlist is auto-generated for you to watch now or later.

  4. Pingback: UK Mobile Review

Comments are closed.