The launch today of a new global BBC iPlayer app will enable iPad users across Europe to access a mix of classic and contemporary British TV programmes, including Doctor Who, Top Gear, Fawlty Towers and EastEnders.
The video-on-demand-service, which is available exclusively on the iPad, costs €6.99 a month or €49.99 for an annual subscription and is initially available in 11 markets in Western Europe, namely Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.
According to BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster’s commercial arm, subscribers will be able to access English language programmes across eight genres: news specials & documentaries; entertainment; drama; comedy; science & nature; family & kids; music & culture and lifestyle.
Hours of new programming will be added to the service every week, along with themed collections curated from the BBC’s extensive archive, including David Attenborough and the story of the Royal Family.
The app will allows subscribers to both stream and download shows for offline viewing for when they can’t access Wi-Fi connectivity. Users will also be able to build a personal library of shows.
“I’m proud that we’re one of the first international broadcasters to give access to our shows in a perfectly packaged app,” said John Smith, CEO, BBC Worldwide. “This launch is an important route to market in our strategy of pursuing multiple platforms for our programmes and brands, taking British programmes to new digital audiences around the world.
“Today marks a significant next step on a digital journey that has already seen 12m BBC Worldwide apps downloaded across brands as diverse as Lonely Planet and Good Food.”
“We have an exciting vision for what this service could become and will develop it based on feedback from within the markets,” said Jana Bennett, BBC Worldwide president of worldwide networks and global iPlayer.
The global BBC iPlayer App is now available to download for free from the App Store in the launch markets on iPad.
The BBC noted that the UK and global versions of the BBC iPlayer are very diferent offerings. It said the global and commercial version is funded entirely by BBC Worldwide. “The fundamental aim of the service is to realise more value overseas from British TV content to generate revenues to support the BBC,” said the broadcaster.