Hold on, I'm sorry, but this article is rubbish.
* For a "multi-million pound failure", iPlayer signups are running well ahead of the BBC's projections, even before the full launch that's advertised happens… Man, I hate it when my projects fail like that.
* So, the BBC "inexplicably binned" streaming in 2005 and then "cobbled together" streaming in 2007. Err… no. How likely does that sound. The iPlayer has always, always, always had streaming on it. That sticking "iPlayer" and "streaming" into Google doesn't bring up anything written in 2006 isn't exactly proof that it was somehow abandoned.
* The article doesn't mention *at all* the public value test that Ofcom did. Which accounts for well over a year of the iPlayer's development time, and a significant part of the cost, and a large part of the restrictions on what the BBC can and can't do.
* There's this bizzare insistence that streaming is so much more desirable than downloads that isn't backed up by any sort of logic or evidence. People use YouTube a lot? Not nearly as much as they peer to peer download, and the argument that "people who download want to keep the content forever" is frivolous and simply wrong. And lets look at Joost and YouTube shall we? They're nigh useless on many people's machines, given the speed and reliablity of broadband in this country. And if everyone did start using a mass streaming solution like you propose in watchable quality, oversold contention ratios would mean the UK's entire online structure would slow to an unwatchable crawl anyway. Not to mention being able to put downloads on portable media players, or access content offline, which is still rather important to most people in this country. BT Vision is a financial catastrophe.
* No addressing that, since the BBC can't wrap the streams in advertising, the BBC are financially disincentivised to provide high quality streaming - the more people stream programmes, the more it costs in bandwidth, the more money is taken away from programme making.
* Streaming is more interoperable on mobile platforms? Is it hell.
* No mention of BBC Worldwide's plan to sell programming that's downloaded . Kangaroo is actually a pretty compelling proposition - download programmes to catch up from the BBC for seven days, and if you like it or want it after that point, pay BBC Worldwide and the DRM comes off. In addition, Kangaroo, which is going to be built on the iPlayer by the looks of things, looks like it will feature most of the content from all the UK's major broadcasters - that's an extremely compelling selling point, and is likely to push the service into the stratosphere.
* If the time limited download concept is so rubbish, why have both Channel 4 and NBC copied it?
* You seriously attempt to suggest that the BBC should have sat on it's arse for four years about how to distribute this content, at the same time as saying the market even now is "immature". On that basis, why wouldn't they wait another four years? And before you know it, we're all dead before there's a service at all.
* A completely throw away coment at the end that the whole download client should be abandoned, contadicting any sort of common sense or logic.
Sorry, poorly researched rubbish. Not that some of the comments above are any better.