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Home / News / BBC planning to add download-to-own archive shows to iPlayer

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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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home