One of the problems with streaming is that content rarely stays there forever, especially when catch-up services are concerned. In most cases you can download programming to get some extra time to get round to watching it, but even that has its limits. The BBC knows it's frustrating to get round to something and find it's gone, so it's finally got round to dealing with this problem with 'last chance' notifications.
These sorts of notifications aren't new, and if you've downloaded content from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video then you may have seen something similar in the past. But this is the first time iPlayer will have included mobile notifications, so it's a big deal. Sort of. It's only for downloaded content, though, so you won't be bombarded with notifications about how the latest episode of QI will be wiped before the end of the day.
It's nice and simple. When a programme you;ve downloaded is set to expire within the next couple of days, the iPlayer app will tell you so you can act accordingly. If you choose to ignore it then that's your problem.
Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer, said:
“Downloads are a great way to watch on the move, when commuting, or while you’re abroad, but it can be very frustrating if you forget that a download is about to expire and only realise once it’s too late.
We’re reinventing BBC iPlayer for a new generation, with more personalised features, more box sets and UHD HDR content. We hope these new ‘last chance’ notifications will add to this, improving people’s experience of using the app and help to ensure that no-one misses out on watching their favourite BBC shows.”
It's surprising that it took the BBC this long to sort out such a basic feature, but hey. Better than never developing it at all, right?