16/03/2012

BBC To Move Forward With Paid Download Service

The BBC's director of archive content Roly Keating has said viewers are “very comfortable” with the corporations plans to launch an iTunes-style download service.

The plan would open up thousands of hours of never-before repeated content and Keating wants it to be the “norm, not the exception” that BBC content is available to buy online shortly after transmission.

He also said the plan would fulfil the corporations long held ambition to open up a “far greater volume of archive content”.

"The research we've done with audiences tells us they're very comfortable with the idea of BBC programmes being made available for purchase like this – there's a clear understanding of the difference between viewing something once and keeping it to enjoy in perpetuity," said Keating in a blog post on the BBC website.

"As Mark Thompson said in his speech, this is not a second licence-fee by stealth or any reduction in the current public service offering from the BBC.

"At the moment, although partners such as iTunes offer a selection of the most popular BBC titles for purchase as downloads, we estimate that more than 90% of what the BBC commissions becomes unavailable for download once it's removed from BBC iPlayer.

"We'd like to change that, and get to a point where it's the norm, not the exception, for shows to be available for digital purchase soon after transmission, with the most comprehensive range of BBC titles being offered via a bespoke online shop.

"We envisage this being a commercial site separate from the licence fee-funded BBC iPlayer, which would of course continue to offer its hugely successful and popular service of recently broadcast BBC programmes to catch up on-demand for free."

(H)


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