BBC iPlayer heading overseas with subscription-only iPad service

BBC Worldwide is planning to launch a paid-for version of iPlayer on Apple's iPad. The service is expected to launch in the US first of all, and could feature content from other UK broadcasters.

We're awfully proud of the BBC here in Blighty, and iPlayer -- the streaming service that lets you access glorious BBC content on demand -- is one of its crowning achievements. So we're pleased to hear that Auntie is planning to send iPlayer overseas, aboard the good ship iPad.

The idea is to bring an iPad-based subscription-only service to customers outside the UK. The initiative is being led by BBC Worldwide, the Beeb's commercial arm, and the so-called Global iPlayer is expected to pilot first in the US.

Luke Bradley-Jones, MD of BBC.com, announced the plans to launch a paid-for service at a London conference, and also explained the decision behind using the iPad as a vessel for the service, saying that Apple's tablet, "provides such potential to develop a truly interactive video-on-demand service".

That's good news for folks in the US with a hankering for premium British content, but better still is the possibility that third-party content will also be available through the service, although there are no deals confirmed right now.

"The BBC has an advantage in that we can create a branded best-of-British service, showcasing not just the BBC."

What do you think? Is the iPad the right choice of platform to launch this new service? If you live outside the UK, how much would you be willing to pay? Have your say in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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