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BBC iPlayer Goes Global Only On iPad

David Gilbert


BBC iPlayer Goes Global Only On iPad

As we speculated a couple of weeks ago, the demand for people wanting to watch Masterchef abroad has become so huge that the big wigs at BBC have decided to roll out its iPlayer service to the world – at least that part of the world that owns an iPad.

The iPad iPlayer app will be available on a pure paid subscription model to those outside the UK and will bring Jeremy Clarkson to a whole new audience – though we’re not sure this is a good thing. Top Gear, Doctor Who and many other shows will be sure to attract an audience not only among ex-pats but among the general TV watching public as well. Whether the general public will be interested in seeing what type of earrings Pat Butcher will be wearing in the Queen Vic is another matter.

BBC.com managing director Luke Bradley-Jones told the Digital TV Summit that the eagerly awaited app would evolve into a hybrid model, but at launch would be a paid subscription model.

"There's a general acknowledgment in the world of VOD that there needs to be a hybrid business model – a combination of subscriptions, download to own and pay per view," said Bradley-Jones. "However I can announce here that we're going to be adopting a pure paid subscription model for the global iPlayer for launch – in part to get audiences used to using the service, but more importantly so we can generate additional value from he service in terms of the user data that it gives us.

In another interesting statement, Bradley-Jones hinted that the BBC would also look to get advertisers on board to sponsor certain parts of the service. "We will also offer advertisers the chance to partner with us on the 'free' areas of the service." Although the BBC does already offer its shows through the likes of iPlayer, an own-branded product available globally could well be a major money-spinner for them.

With the iPlayer clocking up 139million requests in October alone, it is now the UK’s most popular broadcaster-operated video-on-demand service.


December 2, 2010, 10:07 pm

The decision to limit to the iPad seems a strange one. I guess they needed a closed platform to try it out on initially. I'm sure it will roll out on PCs eventually.


December 2, 2010, 10:26 pm

Interesting, too late for me though as I moved back from Belgium in April.

Also, was this article proof read? "and will Jeremy Clarkson to a while new audience &#8211 though we&#8217re not sure that is a good thing or not." Spot the 3 mistakes in that sentence!!


December 2, 2010, 10:55 pm

Could this really not have been done through a standard web browser open to anyone on any platform?


December 2, 2010, 11:19 pm

block my ip myself then i can watch it through any pc anywhere

Hamish Campbell

December 3, 2010, 2:00 am

A company made to supply service to the general public, suppling a service only to the rich elite.

Seems a bit off to me.

dan pugh

December 3, 2010, 2:16 pm

ipad only - what why? think of the poor macbook pro users!


December 5, 2010, 4:40 pm

Using a VPN works in theory but often slows down the service whereby it is unwatchable.

As far as that rich elite comment goes I don't quite get it. BBC supplies to general public in Britain. It is under no obligation to supply me here in Egypt. So rich elite or not, I am thrilled to pay for this. Anyone know when I can do start?

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