BBC iPlayer iPad app set to go global

BBC director general says subscription app could open up iPlayer to worldwide audience...
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor

BBC director general says subscription app could open up iPlayer to worldwide audience...

BBC iPlayer, the broadcaster's on-demand service, could soon be available to viewers and listeners across the world via an iPad app if a pilot proves successful.

Speaking at a Financial Times conference, BBC director general Mark Thompson announced plans to launch a global iPlayer app that would cost no more than $10 per month on subscription.


The BBC has announced an iPlayer app that could soon be available worldwide for $10 per month on the iPad
Photo: pixelbully

A BBC spokeswoman told silicon.com the app is at the development stage and a pilot is due to be launched in the middle of 2011.

Some commentators have pointed out that at a maximum of $10 per month subscription, the international iPlayer app would be at least half the price of the BBC licence fee. However, the BBC spokeswoman told silicon.com that the service provided by the BBC in the UK cannot be compared with the global iPlayer app.

"What we are talking about is an app - you can't compare that with the 10 TV channels, online content and radio services covered by the BBC licence fee."

She added that the global iPlayer app will generate revenues for UK programming and that "future profits from the global iPlayer app will be reinvested back into the BBC".

The app will be very different to the UK iPlayer, according to the BBC, as it will be a portal for both current and past BBC programmes rather than a catch-up service.

The UK iPlayer app for the iPad was launched earlier this year and has already proved to be a success.

The BBC has emphasised that the global iPlayer app will not "cannibalise" other worldwide BBC products but will instead complement existing services.

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