Netflix has lavished praise on the BBC for blazing a trail in online video.
Chief content officer Ted Sarandos described iPlayer — the BBC’s video on-demand player — as “one of the great innovations in television around the world” in an interview the Radio Times magazine.
iPlayer launched in July 2007, the same year that Netflix debuted its online streaming service in America. iPlayer is seen as one of the pioneers of digital video, helping pave the way for countless others around the world.
Sarandos added: “I think the BBC has done a phenomenal job in cultivating great talent, in telling very British stories that a decade ago were almost impossible to get produced.”
But Sarandos warned that the BBC is now in danger of being overtaken by other more nimble media firms in the battle for TV talent. He said there are others who can tell British stories “more effectively than a big bureaucracy like the BBC.”
Netflix is one company that has created more competition for the BBC with its appetite for British content. It launched the latest “Black Mirror” series last week, which was written by former Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker, and is preparing to debut “The Crown” next month.
“Black Mirror” creator Brooker shares Sarandos’ view on iPlayer. The writer said Netflix and others, such as Amazon Prime Video, should be grateful to the British broadcaster for the video player.
“The BBC did more than anyone else to pave the way, psychologically, for people to watch streaming services because of iPlayer,” he told Business Insider. “When the BBC gets things like that right, they really get them right.”