Thursday, 3 March 2011

Talking Point: the BBC iPlayer's going international, so will you subscribe?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The BBC's famous iPlayer is launching internationally this year on the iPad, for a monthly subscription of less than $10 (£6.13). This means foreign viewers will be able to access much of the BBC's TV archive and see BBC shows mere hours after they premiere in the UK.

What do you make of this news? It sounds like a great development for people overseas who enjoy BBC programmes. In particular, I can already sense the Doctor Who fans salivating over being able to legally stream the show in HD, on the same day as the UK broadcast.

How will this affect the ratings of BBC America and other broadcasters around the world who buy BBC content? The revenue generated by selling directly to a global audience will inevitably be huge for the BBC, even if they're only selling to iPad users initially, but are they strangling their foreign broadcast ventures? Or is this the future: no traditional TV broadcasters, just online content streamed to people who want it?

Let me know your thoughts! If you're American, I'm especially interested to hear how this might affect your viewing. Do you own an iPad? Will you subscribe to BBC iPlayer? And would you stop watching BBC America altogether if you did?