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back to article Top prices, old shows - the Beeb's iPlayer goes global

The BBC's ramping up efforts to launch an iPlayer-like internet video service outside the UK, but has rejected using ad-funded model to squeeze as much money as possible from its programming. BBC Worldwide managing director Luke Bradley-Jones told Paid Content the service would not offer the latest domestic UK shows to audiences …

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FAIL

Stupid

I'm an expat living abroad in Sweden and I would happily pay the whole of the license fee to receive all the BBCs UK channels streamed live. I'm sure there are many others who would also be willing to do this. Why isn't this even being considered? It's completely crazy. It's exactly the same as the situation with streaning music. Give customers what they want and they will pay. Give them something inferior, useless and too expensive and they will resort to piracy. It's as simple as that. Until media companies final understand how to use the internet piracy will always reign supreme.

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£10 per episode!?

Why couldn't they just offer a subscription something like the the licensing fee, divided into a monthly amount and provide it as a subscriber service.

I pay £5pm for a VPN connection and get the iPlayer that way, it works wonders. Why don't they just create an official version.

But, as the article says, if they overcharge I'll simply revert to iTunes purchases.

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if you are greedy...

... they will torrent it. I mean, I like TORCHWOOD as much as the next geek but $10 an episode? When will these idiots learn?

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Excuse me what?!

"Millions of people love Torchwood and would probably pay 10 bucks an episode rather than two bucks"

10USD to watch a streamed show and not keep it or be able to do anything with it? Are they taking the piss? OMFG! What planet is he on? 2USD, maybe, 1USD OK... but 10?? F*** off!

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WTF?

There's no way.....

$10 for a pay-PER-VIEW television episode?! Moron.

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JB
Linux

Ex-pat licence fee

I and lots of other British ex-pats would pay an annual fee or monthly subscription to be able to access the normal UK Iplayer, including the radio channels in their full quality. It would be better than paying for a VPN, and you wouldn't have to have the torrents going all the time (cough).

Just a thought.

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Idiots

I am constantly stunned by the combination of arrogance and general lack of intelligence shown by so many senior people in the media industry.

They never seem to learn from the past and continue to treat their customers with contempt, then wail and gnash their teeth when people circumvent official methods to download content.

Luke Bradley-Jones is obviously only in his position because of cronyism and/or joined the BBC through some positive discrimination scheme for low achievers. Surely the only possible excuse for his opinions.

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hooray!

Finally, Benny Hill, Dr. Who and Mony Python, and Are you being served?, the list goes on and on, but $10/episode, I don't thing so. I'd rather sit through the same Prius add every 5 minutes.

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Anonymous Coward

BBC Advertising

'rejected using ad-funded model to squeeze as much money as possible from its programming'

Unlike BBC news which now has adverts plastered all over it if you are outside the UK, and no longer allows you to get the news from a UK perspective.

Why not just let people outside the UK buy a license and then give full access to the iplayer content.

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FAIL

Good old BBC

. . still living in the 70s.

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Alert

content from the BBC's "deep archives."

We're going to get 'content from the BBC's "deep archives"' are we?

Wait. Weren't we promised that back in the Greg Dyke era, back in August 2003, when he announced plans for the "BBC Creative Archive"?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3177479.stm

"Greg Dyke, director general of the BBC, has announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporation's programme archives.

Mr Dyke said on Sunday that everyone would in future be able to download BBC radio and TV programmes from the internet.

The service, the BBC Creative Archive, would be free and available to everyone, as long as they were not intending to use the material for commercial purposes, Mr Dyke added. " (continues)

Anybody know what happened to that?

Why will this new promise be any different?

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Happy

Having a laugh......

Already watching I-Player, ITV & Channel 5 from overseas paying about $10 a month not per episode.

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Anonymous Coward

10 dollars an episode what world does this fool live in

lmao 10 dollars an episode so 10 episodes is 100 bucks lol clearly this fool has not heard of file sharing it's free and 10 bucks an ep becomes 20 eps = FREE ...

just when you think these people have some kind of brains they go and blow the one brain cell out of their head

i swear they must come up with a top 10 ways to make a service completely un-attractive lol.

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Archives II: Archive Deeper

Any chance of letting us license-paying UK folks access these archives via iPlayer? I might actually use it more often if I could delve into the Beeb back catalogue rather than being restricted to the gamut of mindless 'celebrity' cooking/dancing/arse-scratching TV that makes up most of the BBC's to-air content these days.

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How much?

At that rate it'd be cheaper to buy DVD box sets.

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Honestly...

I already pay for a higher DishNetwork package than I would otherwise to get BBC America but lately I'm not seeing the kind of things I want on it. Doctor Who and Torchwood are great but Children of Earth aside, they run *months* after they air in Blighty, by which time I've watched them via BT anyway. Other than those two shows, the rest of the stuff they air is pants - old episodes of Cash in the Attic (good god no) and Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares over and over and over again so if some bigwig at the Beeb thinks I'll pay a huge premium for regurgitated BBCA content, he's got another think coming.

There's at least one service that streams the BBC's output (1, 2, 3, 4 & News 24) and a load of other Freeview channels (including ITV, C4, More4, Film 4, C5, etc) live, at a reasonable quality and free of charge. What planet does this prat think we live on if he thinks we'll pay ten bucks an episode for stuff I can already see on BBCA or watch live for now't.

I echo JB and Steve's sentiments - as an expat, I'd *happily* pay Auntie a $15 to $20 a month or maybe even a bit more for official and reliable access to the iPlayer from overseas but that will never happen, they're just too stuck in the past to offer a progressive, modern solution.

It seems that they would rather continue keeping draconian, frequently inaccurate and doubtless expensive to maintain blocklists of UK IP address ranges and bolting the doors to everyone else instead of realising that we're a potentially lucrative revenue stream.

And they wonder why so many people download their content illegally...

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Auntie has lost the plot

I love the BBC and everything it stands for but $10 an episode? Only the terminally stupid would pay that. Sheesh, the DVDs are often announced before a series has completed transmission and I'd rather pay $30 or $40 for a DVD that I can watch endlessly than an overpriced PPV series. An all-you-can-eat subscription scheme priced similarly to the Licence Fee would be a winner with every overseas Brit I know and the same goes for many other nationalities that would kill to be able to access the BBC output.

Brit expats do have brains and can do basic arithmetic...some can even operate a Bittorrent client. Get a clue, Auntie.

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Anonymous Coward

I'll add my voice...

Like many, I balked at the $10.00 per episode figure tossed out by Bradley-Jones. That is motion picture go-to-the-theatre kind of money... not what the average person would pay to sit at home and watch telly.

Try to sell rubbish at inflated prices and your business model is sure to fail. A price of $1.25 - $1.50 per episode would probably work, but only if the content is good and only if it can be buffered... some "high speed" connections are more "high speed" than others, and latency and packet loss problems play havoc with streaming media.

Yes a $1.25 - $1.50, PER EPISODE. After all there is no freight as there is in physical product, no discs to manufacture, no cases for the discs, no artwork to have printed and assembled, and no shrink-wrapping or anti-shoplifting devices.

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WTF?

And...

As another expat. agreeing with previous comments, I was struck by the BBC's use of funds:

- 6 months of development before approval

- 6 months of development based on "I think" rather than market research

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FAIL

Good luck with that one

There's so much wrong with this plan it's hard to know where to start

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Happy

indeed JB

Anyone else set up their own veiwing system before they left. Ha-ha. However I would happily pay a monthly / yearly subscription service for a better upload speed from UK to nz. But at $10 a pop per episode not a chance.

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WTF?

UK TV live streaming for free

For people who know how it is already possible to watch 44 UK channels streamed live over the internet from anywhere in the world at no cost. The quality isn't great but its better than nothing.

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BBC America

I wonder if this means the episodes will be as originally aired, or as aired on BBC America - edited for length. Top Gear on BBC America has to be cut from 60 to 42 minutes or so to fit in ads.

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Coffee/keyboard

WHAT!?!

"would probably pay 10 bucks an episode rather than two bucks"

Yeah, perhaps on planet "I want to bum the BBC"

Would probably pay 50p an episode is probably closer to the mark.

Maybe....If it was a really good episode.

I'd rather they did everything on a pay per view basis, then the nation would be largely freed from all the PC agenda driven, utter tripe they produce.

* Fair enough, the BBC does produce excellent documentaries, it's just the fruity "Drama" side that produces all the drivel.

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RE: Stupid

It doesn't really matter for BBC-owned shows, but for shows that they don't own (either the copyright is retained by the production company or it's an import), they may only have UK broadcast rights.

Of course, they also make quite a bit of money in selling international rights to broadcasters in other countries - probably a lot more than they'd get from a subscription service.

You have to rememeber that the licence fee is subsidised by the BBC's commercial activities, so if the BBC did move to a worldwide subscription service, you'd be paying a lot more than the UK licence fee for it.

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lolz

"Millions of people love Torchwood and would probably pay 10 bucks an episode rather than two bucks,"

Ah-ha-ha--ha-ha! Oh my sides. My, that'd a good one! I won't even pay US$10 for a DVD you blithering moron. I wait until the appear in the bargain bin and pick-em up for about half that, or wait until they appear on TV.

Most BBC content is dumbed-down crap these days any way. Where is the hard-science, the investigative journalism, the exposes? No where. To busy "blue sky thinking" a keeping the meeja-luvies in white powder. BBC News is a complete and utter joke. It used to be that you could rely on the Beeb for hard-hitting reports and major scoops ahead of the other stations, this just doesn't happen and it's a sad day for Britain when the likes of Fox and Sky have better news output.

I don't mind paying a license fee (BBC Tax) but I object to paying it for the dross the output at the moment.

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WTF?

Fortunately...

...I have access to a UK proxy, which means I can get access to the whole of the iPlayer anywhere with a connection.

But seriously- people want to pay MONEY to watch that PoS Torchwood? Man, it's like all the crap bits from several episodes of Dr. Who put together, without the Dr himself, and with zero actual plot as it's written by the dreaded RTD! And the acting is appalling- although it is admittedly better than in the radio version. When I first heard the trailer for that I thought it was a Mitchell & Webb sketch.

(AC because I don't want my proxy taken away)

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Anonymous Coward

Given its context

I am not sure how serious the $10 dollar comment was. Whenever something gives a range of possible prices the press always like to jump on the higher price for their headlines.

As to hearing of filesharing I think Apple have heard of file sharing as well and it does not appear to have stop them selling a lot of tv programs through itunes.

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Rob
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Chicken and egg

I'd rather they stopped wasting money on developing the international version until they have approval from the Trust.

The Beeb waste enough money as it is, Trust approval then develop thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

iPlayer abroad

As an expat living abroad I regularly watch the iPlayer and listen to the radio.

What's that you say, you can't watch it outside of the uk??? Bollocks.

ssh -D 8080 you@somewhere.uk

Set Firefox proxy SOCKS settings to localhost on port 8080 (port is arbitrary)

Bingo!

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@ EX-pats

To be honest, its your own tough luck that you are and EX-pat. Move back to Britain etc etc etc

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Why not just..

As another commenter noted, make them pay £9 a month in whatever currency they use and give them full access?

Then you get another license fee payer.

This per show bollocks will never work.

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WTF?

From what I have heard....

The archiving process at the BBC has been a catalogue of errors - first putting all the taped stuff on to DVD. Then they realised it should be on HDD on their servers. So then they had to transfer stuff back from DVD to the servers. And they hadn't got anywhere near finished by that stage. In the meantime, they laid off hundreds of guys doing exactly that job, and then re-engaged some of them as freelancers, once Dyke made the announcement mentioned above.

A relative of mine was able to pay off his house with the redundancy, and continue doing exactly the same job...

Nice one licence fee payers.

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FAIL

BBC execs were stupid when *I* was there,

but this new chap really seems to be trying to raise the bar.

I wonder why WW keeps getting people in who have no 'nouse' or understanding of the digital economy - or more importantly - audience needs.

I could pull a better marketing strategy out of my arse.

Don't come crying to me when Murdoch gets you disbanded and sold-off you eejuts!

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FAIL

iPlayer = Fail

Oh it's good at first sight, but we were promised archive material before it even came out, as AC23:42 points out above.

Content seems to appear and disappear from iPlayer, in strange patterns that probably have more in common with sales and marketing strategy than a convenience service for people who've already paid (via license fee) for the right to watch the material.

I have a ton of BBC DVDs (even a few Blu-Ray), from Life on Earth to Life on Mars, so they get their retail buck from me already, on top of the license fee. So what is iPlayer? Just a means to advertise their other box sets by showing limited runs of episodes in the hope that I'll go out and spend more money to fill in the blanks of what I've missed?

iPlayer is their own private advertising channel, the only difference is that all the ads are BBC ads.

As for the international viewers, I think the licence-cum-subscription model suggested sounds perfectly logical (if they can cope with the strange half-baked availability scheduling). Amazing they couldn't think of it themselves - or maybe they did, until some dickhead suggested they could get $10 per viewing of Torchwood. He clearly hasn't watched it, or if he has, hasn't seen Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Fringe, Firefly, Stargate, etc, etc, etc, etc... some of which are expensive as hell on DVD (Stargate?) yet still cheaper than $10/episode...and you get to keep them.

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Archives

I gather that some stuff is now available via the archives (a few select episodes of Tomorrow's World for instance) but I'd have though there would be much more available now. Considering BBC Four are running the Electric Revolution season at the moment I figured they would maybe make old episodes of Micro Live and 'Making The Most Of The Micro' available on iPlayer (I've had to source them via alternative means).

Still it was fun catching up on some old episodes of Tomorrow's World.

Rob (who's looking forward to Micro Men on BBC Four tonight at 9pm).

P.S. $10 to watch Torchwood, I think they must have meant they will pay viewers $10 to watch Torchwood.

P.P.S Where is the Sir Clive, Sir/Lord Alan and Chris Curry icons?

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FAIL

Echoing...

...the ex-pat licensing option, PPV just seems absolutely pointless. As for "the service would not offer the latest domestic UK shows to audiences abroad" well, what's the bloody point, then? If I want to watch it months after broadcast, I'll just wait for it to eventually turn up on BBC Entertainment, as I do now

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Anonymous Coward

Where it is going

This is starting to show where I believe all TV will go ... pay per view. With content being digitally streamed, I believe it won't be long before we're all paying for the television that we specifically watch.

That will mean the unpopular programs sink to the bottom without trace, while others rise to the top and sing ... which will be a breath of fresh air rather than the executives deciding which shows to axe ... enough fan pressure should thus have greater weight to which programs to resurect from the grave.

Adverts in TV are soon to become a thing of the past; they are hated enough anyway and with more secure payment models, providing there is no ludicrous DRM on the downloaded shows, I believe that an audience will not challenge it ... especially if it would lead to reduced channels of things that people actually want to watch rather than the traditional re-runs of The Sound Of Music.

I mean ... why should I spend an extra quarter of an hour watching a show that I could get through in 45 minutes? Over an evening that could be an hour or so I'd gain ... that could be worth paying for.

Obviously, executives would still be able to syphon off profits from one cheap to produce show to another which costs more ... but I hate adverts. Just like the music industry needed an overhaul, so does the TV industry IMHO.

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So...

...if they're charging $10 per episode does the cash go back into the BBC so our licence fee will go down (or shows will stop sucking balls)...?

Probably not. Cocks.

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Now that my jaw's back up off of the floor...

""Millions of people love Torchwood and would probably pay 10 bucks an episode rather than two bucks," Bradley-Jones said."

The extra 8 dollars is to pay for the drugs he's obviously on, right?

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Flame

How about...

they fix the Wii iPlayer.

or, at least, offer some better feedback than the current "f*ck off" screen.

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Haha

Another hyphenated BBC moron.

How times don't change.

FFS

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Stop

@Thomas Bottrill

"You have to rememeber that the licence fee is subsidised by the BBC's commercial activities, so if the BBC did move to a worldwide subscription service, you'd be paying a lot more than the UK licence fee for it."

Umm... no.

The only Beeb related content I have watched in the last six months was the Last Night of the Proms - and that was only because there was no "Prom in the Park" anywhere in the North East.

I would quite happily pay the episode cost of that in place of the tv licence. The Mrs and I other viewings are either DVD based or Sky/FX/Sci-Fi and junior's viewing of choice is Playhouse. Disney.

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Anyone for a pop-tart?

$10 per episode! The BBC does make fine shows to be sure but let's face it - marketing and commercial reality has never been their strong suite.

I simply buy the DVD's on Amazon UK - and the UK DVD prices are often a lot lower than the US versions. The only downside is that I need region free DVD players but that's not exactly a problem these days. True - I could subscribe to BBC America but frankly I'd rather own the DVD's and watch what I want to, when I want to - and you can buy a lot of DVD's for the cost cable TV service as it turns out.

Anyway who wants to watch a great program on a screen the size of a pop-tart?

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Alert

RE: It's about the third party rights, stupid.

"...the ex-pat licensing option, PPV just seems absolutely pointless. As for "the service would not offer the latest domestic UK shows to audiences abroad" well, what's the bloody point, then? If I want to watch it months after broadcast, I'll just wait for it to eventually turn up on BBC Entertainment, as I do now"

That's the only thing they can do. Why do you think BBC Entertainment even exists, instead of just timeshifting BBC 1 and selling that internationally?

It's because the shows on BBC Entertainment are the only ones the BBC can clear international rights for, and they can only clear them some time usually after their UK airing. That isn't going to change, and even attempting to change it for all the UK schedule would cost literally billions of pounds to clear all the music tracks etc etc etc.

So there will never, ever be an option to subscribe to the UK iPlayer internationally - because at a rate equivalent to the UK licence fee it'd lose about £4 billion per year after rights costs were paid.

Economics lesson 101 for a few people here.

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FAIL

10 bucks an episode???

Given that you can buy the entire boxed set of Torchwood Series 1 on Amazo brand new for £14.98 *and* keep it and watch it time and time again, I have to ask what planet this guy is living on...!!!

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Nearly worth it

Doolar is currently about 60p, I think. Next year who knows. Some viewers might pay $10 for a good show, Americans are rich and stupid, but it's up there with the price of a sports match. BBC describes the price of Internet viewing of England v Ukraine as "at least £4.99", I dunno if the camera view from the best seats or VIP box is more. I think top boxing events cost more, but there you get to see famous big black men beating each other up to please you and maybe one of them is even killed. It's like bullfighting. One-on-one violence sometimes appears in soccer but it's rare. You get what you pay for.

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@Michelle Knight: Where it is going 8/10/09 09:38: Not quite - as the BBC gives serendipity.

On Thursday 8th October 2009 09:38 GMT, In "Where it is going" Michelle Knight wrote:

"This is starting to show where I believe all TV will go ... pay per view. With content being digitally streamed, I believe it won't be long before we're all paying for the television that we specifically watch.

"That will mean the unpopular programs sink to the bottom without trace, while others rise to the top and sing"

Unpopular does not mean bad. Popular does not mean good. Popularity is a matter of collective opinion.

With predictable income from the license fee, the BBC is able to take risks and produce content where other outlets don't see a profit. This means that the BBC can meet its universal obligation that includes representing minority interests and groups. Some initially minority interests which gain wider appeal.

Also consider serendipity (the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate): the license fee enables this to happen by offering things that you don't yet know you will really like. How else can you know what you are interested in - in the first place? Perhaps rhetorical question to you, Michelle: How do things become popular in the first place?

What internet delivered media will give broadcasters is precise audience viewing figures, so no need for BARB for TV or RAJAR for radio.

On Thursday 8th October 2009 09:38 GMT, In "Where it is going" Michelle Knight also wrote:

"why should I spend an extra quarter of an hour watching a show that I could get through in 45 minutes? Over an evening that could be an hour or so I'd gain ... that could be worth paying for."

Yes, and also even when the Sky subscription has been paid there are still adverts in those channels.

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Deep Archives content?

Does that mean that we'll be able to see once again, Charlie Dimmock bouncing around the garden then? Time to pick the melons, dear...

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Pah!

They don't even have "We Are Klang" on the iPlayer.

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