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BBC Announces iTunes-Style Pay Download Service For All Its Programs

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 15, 2012 11:09 AM
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Welcome to the 21st century BBC!

Announced this morning... the BBC has confirmed plans for what they're calling "an iTunes-style download service" that will allow audiences to purchase BBC programs minutes after they've aired on TV.

Called Project Barcelona, the initiative would allow audience to buy a digital copy of a show at "a relatively modest charge," says the Guardian; early speculation is that the "modest charge" will run around £1.89 (or about $3, which is just about what iTunes charges per episode for most TV shows it carries in HD), and then you can watch whatever you want, wherever, and whenever (well, almost).

BBC head honcho Mark Thompson said "the programmes would be available permanently...," and he added, "Our ambition would ultimately be to let everyone who pays the licence fee access all of our programmes on this basis and, over time, to load more and more of our archive into the window... It could also mark an important step in broadcast's journey from being a transitory medium into a growing body of outstanding and valuable content which is always available to enjoy and which persists forever."


What I'm waiting for now is for universal access to the BBC's vast library of content, so those of us NOT in the UK can readily purchase and download the digital files for all its programming legally. Am I asking for too much?

So all our readers across the pond, your reactions to this??? Is it much of a big deal, or ho-hum?

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  • Ava | March 15, 2012 4:08 PMReply

    BBC is smart. They will get to keep more of their profits instead of using a middleman.
    This topic (of an iTunes-like download service) came up in a discussion I had with someone just a month or so ago. I really do believe that this will be what many media companies will eventually do-- 'in house' downloads of previously produced episodes that would normally be released (or not) on DVD. I don't believe that Amazon or iTunes, et al will be the only companies performing this service for long.
    I hope this will soon be open to those of us in North America and internationally.

  • kye | March 15, 2012 3:23 PMReply

    I miss megaupload!

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