The BBC has begun to make signing-in to use the iPlayer mandatory, removing the option to skip sign-in for some.
The BBC is forcing users to sign up for a BBC account to continue using the popular catch-up and on-demand service. Users who are still being allowed access by skipping the sign-in screen will see the option removed shortly.
The BBC says the move to mandatory sign-ins is all about offering a more personalised experience, enabling it to mine user data to provide recommendations and to see who is watching or listening to programmes. But the broadcaster has admitted that data from sign-ins might be used to detect TV licence fee evasion. Since September 2016, most iPlayer users require a TV licence to use the service.
It is still going to be possible to access the iPlayer on connected or smart TV platforms without a mandatory sign-in and access to the BBC children’s channels will still be possible without signing in via the iPlayer Kids app. Podcasts from BBC Radio will also still be available without sign-in.