Some time this year iPlayer radio will get access to shows from the past 30 days, an upgrade from the current seven the BBC has announced.
The problem with enabling downloads thus far hasn’t been a technological one, rather, the BBC needed to get approval from the BBC Trust before it was allowed to offer the download option. The Trust is there to ensure that the BBC doesn’t unduly distort the market and compete unfairly because of its large publicly-funded budget.
The BBC Tweeted from its @BBCiPlayerRadio account confirming the functionality was coming, but not going in to more detail than to say it would be this year. It’s not clear if a new version of its app would need to be pushed out, of if the firm just needs to flip a switch at Broadcasting House to allow people to start downloading.
The change in policy means that BBC Radio fans will be allowed to download and keep shows from the past 30 days. If you start listening to a show on day 29, of its “lifespan” then you’ll still get the full seven days to complete it, before it expires and is removed from your phone or tablet.
At the moment, the selection is mostly limited to seven days, although some shows have archives dating back further. Some of the delay is, no doubt, also down to rights negotiations, as radio shows often have independent production companies involved, which means the BBC does not own the rights to re-air the show, or offer it for download.