BBC Worldwide extends global iPlayer trial with indie content and to iPhone

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 07-12-2011

BBC Worldwide has extended its trial of the iPlayer in non-UK locations running to the Apple iPhone and Apple iPod Touch.

Previously available on the iPad, the pilot subscription service, which could reap huge and desperately needed rewards for the BBC, will now be available for iPhone, iPod Touch users in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
In addition to titles from the mammoth BBC catalogue, BBC Worldwide says that the global BBC iPlayer will also offer from early 2012 content from external, independent content such as that from programme distributor DRG. This will include programmes such as Peep Show, Shameless, Black Books, Green Wing and Father Ted.
From January 2012, the genre offering of the global BBC iPlayer will be expanded with two new categories, ‘Music’ and ‘Arts and Culture’. ‘Arts and Culture’ will be home to classic strands such as Timewatch and Omnibus, as well as contemporary shows like The Narnia Code and The Mathematics of Chaos. There will also be a Children’s category that in addition to entertainment will offer teachers, parents and carers a range of approaches to develop language and communication skills.
Commenting on the aim of the extension of the trial, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer, Jana Bennett, said: “This platform extension shows how Global iPlayer isn’t just about moving TV to tablet devices, it’s also about a mobile strategy – about truly getting TV everywhere in a way that it hasn’t been before. We also want the global BBC iPlayer to be truly representative of the whole gamut of British creative output.
Bennett also insisted that the VOD service would break the longstanding Pareto Principle which argued that 80% of revenues will stem from the top 20% of a company’s content. She cited research that found three-quarters of subscribers access the BBC app each day; just over a third ( 35%) of viewers were watching more than one programme per visit; a quarter go on to browse the app after watching a programme.