Good news if you want to catch-up with your favourite shows on holiday: the BBC’s international iPlayer app for iPad will launch this year, and will cost around £6 a month, according to director general Mark Thompson. Per year, that’s about half the price of a colour TV licence. A good deal? Read on for more info, and to find out how the BBC is following in Hollywood’s footsteps.
Speaking to the FT Digital Media & Broadcasting conference in London, Thompson said the service, that lets you watch and listen to BBC TV and radio shows on your iPad wherever you are in the world, will launch “definitely this year,” and that it’ll cost “a small number of dollars per month… definitely fewer than 10.” $10 a month is £6.13, or £73.56 a year.
Thompson continued, “We’re exploring internationally what the right pricing and models are… the most important thing is the consumer pricing is right.” He said iPlayer allowed the BBC to “sell directly to consumers,” rather than other broadcasters rebranding or reformatting shows, and that they were following in Hollywood’s footsteps by “looking at a series of windows,” for shows “to optimise value across the lifecycle.” Cutting out the Birtspeak, that means whether shows are available on DVD shortly after they’re broadcast, as currently, then online pay-per-view services, followed by subscription and free to air TV.
He also said he wants a road map of mobile TV, put together by mobile phone companies, the government, and broadcasters. TV on mobiles has failed to take off in the UK, as opposed to Japan, but could this be the start of a concerted push for next-gen mobile TV? With the iPad and other tablets ruling the roost at the moment, it’d seem foolish not to take advantage of those bigger screens.