Subscription based service planned

International BBC iPlayer to appear on the iPad

The BBC is set to launch a subscription version of the iPlayer TV streaming service on the Apple iPad for BBC fans worldwide.

Planning to host popular BBC TV shows like Top Gear and Doctor Who, the iPlayer service is already the largest streaming video service in the UK with 139 million views in October.

Previously the BBC said that it was unknown how the service would be priced, whether it would be on a per-show basis, subscription or advertising based.

“… We’re going to be adopting a pure paid subscription model for the global iPlayer for launch – in part to get audiences used to using the service, but more importantly so we can generate additional value from the service in terms of the user data that it gives us,” boss Luke Bradley-Jones told the Digital TV Summit.

The first target device mentioned is the iPad, since an iPad application has been approved by the BBC Trust. There was no mention of Android versions but with Google’s open source operating system supporting Flash, porting the desktop iPlayer should be a snip in comparison.

With the BBC licence fee frozen for the foreseeable future, commercial ventures such as BBC Worldwide and the international iPlayer service will be increasingly important sources of revenue to maintain the range and quality of services from the public broadcaster.

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