BBC planning to add download-to-own archive shows to iPlayer

The BBC will be popping its archive online – and the best bit? Each show will only cost £1.89 to download. Watch out, iTunes

It’s nice to see your TV licence going on something other than a new paint job at the Old Vic. So you'll be happy to hear that the BBC's planning to put its whole archive online – likely as an extension to the existing iPlayer service.

Auntie Beeb is planning to make its programmes and films available as download-to-own for a mere £1.89 – less than the £2.49 a new TV episode will set you back on Apple's offering, and substantially less than the £10 a new film costs on iTunes.

The BBC back catalogue project – according to paidcontent – will give producers a larger chunk of the profits (40p per episode) in a bid to give the BBC the best shows in the future, suggesting that it's planning to compete with other video download service.

According to the FT, the BBC is expecting the Olympics to be akin to the Queen’s Coronation – which doubled the number of TV licences. It's planning to grow the popularity of its already popular iPlayer – viewed by 40 percent of online adults a month – thanks to more back catalogue viewing. The iPlayer is available on the PS3, Xbox, smart TVs, Freeview and Freesat boxes as well as computers, making it accessible to nearly everyone.

The new project, according to Ralph Riviera the BBC’s director of future media, will be “a £3m ‘Connected Studio’ project which aims to connect BBC developers and producers with their commercial counterparts, and establish a new technical platform for outsiders to build digital services around BBC content”.

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