Global BBC iPlayer App Launches

BBC Worldwide has at last launched a version of the iPlayer that is available in countries outside the UK, initially only on iPads. It’s priced at a somewhat controversial annual rate of €49.99 ($71.35 or £44), controversial because it’s much less than UK residents pay for the annual fee to watch the BBC on their TV.

It’s also available monthly for €6.99 ($9.97 or £6.14).

Things have changed remarkably since the iPlayer was first launched, especially in advanced markets like the States and the EU. The challenges the global iPlayer will face are:

– Many consumers have acquired DVRs, a better way for watching “catch up TV,” especially if it’s over a week old.

– With the spread of smart TVs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles and smart TV adapters, consumers have grown accustomed to watching shows on the TV, not just on PCs and iPads. That means the BBC will have to develop apps for every smart TV platform, no trivial matter.

– OTT subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Hulu Plus have enrolled millions of consumers who can now get many current and prior TV shows and movies for a flat monthly rate.

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