PEVE 2014: BBC Store to launch in Q2 201
Joseph O'Halloran
| 30 September 2014
Coinciding with the next UK election when its funding will be a hot topic, the BBC has confirmed that it will launch its paid-for online video service in the second quarter of 2015.

Making significant contributions to a panel event entitled 'Keep buying—reinventing entertainment retail in the digital age' at PEVE Entertainment Business Futures 2014, BBC Worldwide president of UK and Australia Marcus Arthur revealed that the BBC Store represented a massive opportunity for the cash-strapped corporation to grow its electronic sell through (EST) business.

Arthur added that the the BBC Store will operate from inside the iPlayer which will be remodelled to present in lockers not just the standard freely available content in a 30-day window but also offer a purchasing option for programmes not currently available online and those no longer available on the free player.

"To date only 6% of BBC product has been available to buy and [with the BBC Store] we will to do for downloading what iPlayer did for streaming," Arthur asserted. The executive envisaged programmes such as Top Gear, Sherlock and especially the BBC's renowned Natural History archive as being key draws for the purchase model which would be different in different locations. SVOD for example would not be an option for the UK. "Why go to the lowest common denominator with SVOD when you can have the most profitable content [most readily available through] EST," he added.

Arthur regarded iTunes as the undisputed EST 800lb-gorilla but regarded the UK EST market as ripe for competition and one in which the BBC would have a deep presence.