BBC iPlayer international service to cost less than $10 a month

The BBC’s on-demand content service, iPlayer, has been a huge success story for the corporation. 

Since its launch at the end of 2007, iPlayer has now grown to encompass millions of videos being watched every day, and has established a presence on an extraordinary number of platforms including digital TV (such as Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview), mobile devices (including BlackBerry, iPhone and Android), and even games consoles (including Wii and PS3).

So far, though, iPlayer has been a UK success story only – but at long last, its launch to new markets is almost upon us, and details are emerging on what the new service will look like for worldwide users.

The Guardian reports that iPlayer will first launch in western Europe, with users paying a subscription of less than $10 (£6/€7) per month, although the exact price is still being finalised. 

Unlike the domestic UK iPlayer service, which only offers a 7-day ‘catch-up’ facility, the international iPlayer will be “a different proposition”, with a range of recent programming mixed in with offerings from the BBC archives, including popular comedy like Fawlty Towers, factual programming such as Planet Earth, and selections from its expansive library of legendary music content.

The European launch is described as “very much a pilot”, and indeed international users should not immediately expect the ubiquity of service that iPlayer enjoys in the UK, with the service initially being made available only on Apple’s iPad.

Subject to the success of the launch, it will no doubt be extended onto other devices and into further regions… but when?  The first rollout is expected to begin in early Q4 to western Europe, but publicly at least, the BBC is being very coy about timeframes, saying only that it will be deployed “in a careful and measured way”.  

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Only available on iPad initially.
W. T. F.
BBC and Apple are STILL IN BED together.
Seriously, BBC, how about some love for Microsoft huh? Silverlight would be good, especially with variable-bitrate streaming that varies quality depending on connection speed.
Arseholes.

there is a eu directive that bans other countries from geo-blocking its contents within the eu. uk is a part of the eu so thus it should be free to watch uk content. now if you are outside the eu then the cost factor will take place. bbc iplayer has a good selection of viewing contents available but i feel that it should broaden its service. bbc is screaming about money then why not make it this way but do not overprice for this will be its downfall.

How is $10 per month overpriced? What have the BBC have to lose by creating a subscription service to those outside.... I don't see the issue here. It could be a big win to get more money in for better programs. Hopefully it won't all go to actors salary increases...

Just to clear up a few bits here - the international iPlayer service is expected to be on-demand only, with no provision for live TV. There are much more complex licensing requirements for global broadcasts than providing isolated on-demand content, and I think the challenges and costs of negotiating international licensing agreements for live broadcasts in global markets will prove prohibitive for some time to come.

As John rightly says, the service to be offered on iPlayer is not equivalent to the range of services encompassed in the UK television licence fee. British audiences get access to eight national TV channels, plus BBC HD, BBC One HD and BBC Alba), ten national radio stations, over fifty regional and local radio stations, the BBC Red Button interactive TV service, access to the vast BBC Online website, as well as the iPlayer catch-up service, unlimited and accessible free at the point of use through numerous platforms. This $10/month fee, by contrast, will only give users access to a selection of archive content mixed in with more recent offerings.

The subscription will not give users unlimited access to the full BBC archive - that would diminish DVD/Blu-Ray sales of BBC content, after all - so international users should expect to see a changing, growing library of content available to them, but not limitless access to anything that the BBC has ever produced.

So international users will get some features on iPlayer - like selected archive content - that we don't get in the UK, but UK licence fee payers will continue to enjoy far, far more to justify the higher price that we pay.

SojIrOu said,
Interesting. Does that mean I can watch Top Gear live on iPlayer in Australia soon?

Doubt it'll offer live feeds. Otherwise people from the UK would use this cheaper service instead of a TV License.

SojIrOu said,
Interesting. Does that mean I can watch Top Gear live on iPlayer in Australia soon?

Maybe, since we can watch most live stuff on iPlayer.

Tjcrazy said,
Doubt it'll offer live feeds. Otherwise people from the UK would use this cheaper service instead of a TV License.

iPlayer already has live feeds for anyone living within the UK and if you do watch it, it has a warning message stating that you still require a TV License to watch live television.

So International people get licence for £72 a year when we have to pay £145.50, not only that but they get access to stuff from the BBC archives while we only get the last 7 days in TV?

Jenson said,
So International people get licence for £72 a year when we have to pay £145.50, not only that but they get access to stuff from the BBC archives while we only get the last 7 days in TV?

You're on about two different things. One is a license to access a library of on demand services, and the other is to watch live television within the UK. There is an extra charge for a terrestrial TV license in other countries too.

EDIT: A fair amount of shows on iPlayer are actually available for up to a month now.