iPlayer will require a TV licence from 1 September

The iPlayer ‘loophole’ is officially closing in a month’s time; from 1 September, you’ll need a TV licence in order to watch stuff on the catch-up service.

The changes were first introduced in a white paper in May, but now that the BBC's Royal Charter is being renewed, it's going live.

John Whittingdale, the former Culture Secretary, explained: "When the licence fee was invented, video on demand did not exist. The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it."

So, it makes sense when you think of it as the Beeb's way of bringing iPlayer in line with our modern viewing habits whilst still maintaining the corporation's ideals.

A TV licence costs £145.50 per year for a household, which works out to around £12.13 per month - so, about the cost of a Netflix subscription and an Amazon Prime subscription combined.

TV Licensing said that less than 2% of households will be affected, as most people who use iPlayer already have a licence. That final 2% is supposedly costing the Beeb £150 million, so it's pretty keen to close the gap - especially as its funding is being continually cut.

You'll only need a TV licence to watch iPlayer, plus live TV. You'll still be able to watch on-demand programmes from other services, like All4, ITV Hub, or Netflix, and all BBC Radio services remain unaffected. (You don't need a licence to listen to the radio, after all.)

The BBC has also confirmed that it won't be password protecting iPlayer - it'll still be accessible online and through apps - though this could well change in the future. And bear in mind that accessing it without a licence post-August means you could technically be prosecuted.

Source: BBC | TechRadar

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