BBC iPlayer going international within a year

It is being reported that the BBC have hired Mark Smith to be the corporation’s global iPlayer launch director. BBC director general, Mark Thompson, confirmed last month that the corporation will indeed be launching a commercial version of the iPlayer, available to people around the world within a year.

With the appointment of Mark Smith to BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, it is understood that the BBC is quickly positioning itself for this global release of the iPlayer. Smith comes from the BBC’s Future Media and Technology group who have been in charge of the development of the iPlayer for the past five years. Recently though Smith has been acting general manager for programmes and video on demand which, as Neowin reported earlier this week, has now been given to former Microsoft video on demand expert Daniel Danker.

Luke Bradley-Jones executive VP, MD (who Smith will report to) said of the appointment “his proven knowledge and experience in on-demand programming is exactly what we need to lead this exciting yet complex project. This new service is a key strand of our multi platform content strategy and a great new opportunity for British shows.”

It is unclear under what model the BBC will make the international version of the iPlayer available, Smith has said “the time certainly feels right to present audiences with a tailored international version of the BBC iPlayer service”.

C21 Media also reports that before working on the iPlayer at the BBC, Smith was responsible for the delivery of all the BBC Vision’s online propositions across all the TV genres. Smith has also worked for other TV distribution teams within BSKyB, Open Interactive and BT. At BT he worked on early trials of BT Vision which uses the Mediaroom platform from Microsoft that Daniel Danker, now head of iPlayer, also worked on.

Earlier this week the BBC rolled out a new version of the iPlayer to everyone in the UK. There have long been calls for the BBC to rollout its iPlayer to the world so people can access BBC programmes whenever they want.

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