From today, anyone watching BBC programmes only on iPlayer will be required to buy a TV licence to view the content.
Previously a licence was only needed to watch live broadcasts, so catch-up content was technically exempt from the £145.50 annual fee.
But due to a change in the law, a licence will be needed to download or watch BBC programmes on demand.
Those who already have a TV licence will not be affected.
The change comes after the government said it wanted to modernise the current system, so those watching catch-up TV do not get “a free ride”.
The new rules apply to all devices used to access iPlayer – including laptops, smartphones, tablets, TV streaming devices and games consoles, as well as through third-party services such as Sky, Virgin or BT. However, a TV licence will still not be needed for watching other on demand services, such as ITV Player, All4, My5 or Netflix.