Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Risky business

The same characteristics of the web that allow new services to be launched at the flick of a switch can also lead to services breaking at any moment. Witness the update that has broken access to iPlayer on the Wii:

“Why am I unable to view BBC iPlayer on my Nintendo Wii?

The latest Nintendo Wii software upgrade has caused BBC iPlayer to stop working. Users that have not upgraded can continue to use the BBC iPlayer website.”

The lesson here is that although technically it may be possible to launch a new service that builds on something provided by another company, if you have no commercial agreement in place with the other company to maintain compatibility with your service, an update could break it at any time and without notice. If it breaks, an awful lot of users could be pounding your help-lines or returning products as “faulty”...

I wonder how many of the vast array of mobile and TV devices with access to YouTube, Facebook, etc, have been built with commercial agreements with the service they access, and therefore can continue to work faultlessly for the lifetime of the product?

Dr Rob

1 comment:

Patrice said...

Eh, that's a good point :-)

Definitively the device vendors or the network operators in which the device is deployed need to have an agreement in place with the content owner... or the other way round ;-)