BBC Worldwide has finally deigned to bring iPlayer to more than just those of us in the U.K. Unfortunately it hasn’t got the licensing in place to bring it to the United States quite yet.
Global iPlayer App
There has been talk of an international version of iPlayer for some time, with viewers in the U.S. being particularly keen on the idea, even though they know they’d have to pay for it.
America is going to have to wait a little while longer (the US, Canada, and Australia are expected to gain the app within months) but 11 European countries have now been blessed with iPlayer for the Apple iPad. This is seen as a year-long experiment to see how successful a wider and longer rollout would prove to be.
For 6.99 Euros-per-month or 49.99 Euros-per-year iPad owners can gain on-demand access to 1,500 hours of content which includes both new and classic shows. Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, and Sherlock are just some of the shows featured.
The international iPlayer app has a couple of advantages over its domestic U.K. equivalent. Namely 3G streaming and offline viewing. There are also older shows on there to compliment the new shows, but U.K. viewers will be able to find the same classic shows on other services such as YouTube and SeeSaw.
It helps that BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the organization, isn’t governed by the same rules and therefore can concentrate on just one device. On this occasion the Apple iPad. Which makes sense as it’s by far the most popular tablet on sale at the moment.
If, of course, Android tablets take off as they are expected to in the next couple of years then the app can be expanded to include them.
This seems like a truly sweet deal. For what is just a few dollars a month European viewers can gain access to a host of BBC shows that they couldn’t otherwise. Unless they have a big satellite dish or watch online for free. Which most probably do. But still.
[Via The Guardian]
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