Business travellers, commuters, parents and frustrated 3G outcasts rejoice (as long as you've got an Apple device). The BBC has announced the launch of a download service for BBC iPlayer. This means iPad and iPhone users will be able to download shows onto their device and watch them wherever they are, irrespective of 3G or Wi-Fi signal. An Android version is on its way apparently.
In a press release, a BBC spokesman said:
"With mobile downloads for BBC iPlayer, you can now load up your mobile phone or tablet with hours and hours of BBC television programmes, then watch them on the road, on the tube, on a plane, without worrying about having an internet connection or running up a mobile data bill."
Of course, we could all use this as an opportunity to bemoan the fact some people can't go a few hours without watching TV but that's not really in the spirit of innovation or choice is it. And at least by being able to pick from some of the quality output on the iPlayer you can be sure it's good TV.
Or more likely kids TV.
Because data released today by the BBC suggests much on-demand video viewing is being driven by kids. Or perhaps more accurately parents looking to entertain kids. In fact, 34 per cent of iPlayer programmes being watched on tablets is children's programming:
That probably comes as no surprise to anybody who has ever sat a toddler down with an iPad and an episode of In The Night Garden.
When it comes to smartphones, children's programming is still highest but it's a far less decisive margin. It appears the tablet is king in the nurseries of Britain and on the backseats of sensible family cars.
Also offering some insight into the life of the modern parent is the very telling time of day when TV watched on iPads outstrips any other device: 4am to 8.30am:
That gentle sobbing you can hear may well be the sound of a tired parent watching Bob The Builder for the fourth time on iPlayer at 6am. But at least now they can stockpile episodes.