BBC iPlayer Heads To Europe On The iPad

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With a growing number of Ex-Pats moving to mainland Europe and its warmer more relaxing Islands, the lack of iPlayer support means many British miss out on new and old programmes from the UK’s national broadcaster.

Couple this with the International appeal of a broad section of its programming output and we can see why the BBC has decided to monetize its content to a wider audience on a non TV based platform.

So how much will it cost:

Well firstly you will need an iPad to access the content.

So that’s already around €400+ out of the pocket!

Without seeing exact figures we are hearing reports that the monthly fee will come to around €6 or under.

Obviously the UK license fee payer pays a full colour license of £145 a year considerably more than €6 a month.

So will the UK tax payer start moaning about subsidising Ex-Pats and the rest of Europe with the sale of its own license fee paid for productions?

iPlayer comes to Europe:

The BBC is set to makes it’s innovative iPlayer service available to Western Europeans with an iPad for a monthly subscription fee later this summer.

Here in the UK, access to the iPlayer is covered by the license fee we pay for our television service but the Beeb will introduce a monthly subscription to outsiders for access.

The official sums haven’t quite been done yet, so we’re still in the dark as to the official subscription fee; but it will be less than $10 (£6) per month. Sounds like a good deal, although you’ll have to shell out for an iPad to take advantage of it at first.

Not quite catch up TV:

Jana Bennett, President of global iPlayer, describes the European version of iPLayer as a very different beast more in-line with a video library service that curates old and new content and delivers this to peoples Internet connections.

She is quoted as saying:

“The freedom from catch-up means that we’ve got a lot more flexibility in terms of what we put on there and how we present it,”

International aims:

The desire is to spread the iPlayer to other regions and go global and we say why not.

BBC’s under huge financial pressure after governments decision to cut funding subsidy.

The funding gap that now exists with the BBC needs to be filled somehow.

For too long, the worlds (arguably) most respected broadcaster has pumped radio, TV, and print material into the homes and ears and eyeballs of billions internationally and in some cases without a great deal of recompense.

We are aware that BBC Worldwide is a highly successful commercial arm of the BBC aimed at selling the rights to content to a broader audience than the UK, including franchises, programming, magazines etc and that linking in with HBO and the likes of National Geographic to create programming makes much more commercial sense.

Monetizing a form of aggregation/syndication service like the iPlayer makes sense:

We are glad to see the BBC take the reigns with their existing content and try to package this up on a modern format (the iPad) to maximise the money generated from old and new content produced so they can hopefully continue to provide more niche services such as BBC Radio 6 which had been under threat recently.

Pay-Walls to become more prevalent?

Are we slowly seeing content producers successfully starting to put pay-walls up on their own content as a result of a new way of consuming media via SmartPhones, and Tablets?

NYT, The Times in the UK, and now the BBC iPlayer for Europe.

What do you think?

Should innovation come at a cost and should being an early adopter of new technology also have a premium or is this the start of an eroding of the way we all stand fairly equal (arguably) in the consumption of content via the Internet and with wireless and mobile technology, or is elitism starting to enter the mobile and web arena?

Your thoughts please…

Editorial Staff