The Beeb has launched a global version of its iPlayer service in 11 countries in Western Europe, with a spanking new iPad app.
The app will initially be available to iPad users in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. The US, Canada and Australia will also get in on the action later this year.
A limited amount of content will be available for free, with sponsorship and those annoying, unskippable ads. However the core model is subscription, with users paying €6.99 per month, or €49.99 for a full year.
"We think we have a load of unmet demand for BBC and British content internationally," said Luke Bradley-Jones, BBC.com’s managing director.
"This is not a catch-up service: this is a video-on-demand service. We will have content from the last month, but also the best from the catalogue stretching back 50 to 60 years."
The global app will allow users to download content over 3G or Wi-Fi, and introduces the ability to store content on the iPad for offline viewing, something that’s not available to us in the UK.
Mark Smith, the global iPlayer launch director at BBC Worldwide, explains: “The way the device works, is it hibernates and stops you from [downloading overnight]: you wake up the next morning and only half a show has downloaded.
“We have managed to override that functionality, and Apple are comfortable with us doing that."
That’s all well and good, but what about Android? "We hope that this service becomes multi-device, multi-platform and multi-territory over time, but as a premium-but-niche service, we did not want to go in with both feet from day one," says Breadley-Jones.
via: The Guardian