BBC StoreThe BBC has launched a paid downloads store where it will offer recent programmes, classics and “lost gems from the BBC archive” for sale.
The BBC Store will be fully integrated into iPlayer, so programmes users purchase will appear under ‘My Programmes’ on the web and eventually in various versions of the app, to stream on mobile devices and streaming boxes.
The store will also be accessible directly from BBC iPlayer, though the BBC said the massively popular free service will continue to offer shows for viewing 30 days after broadcast, just as before.

At launch however things are a little more clunky, forcing you to buy programmes on the BBC Store then jump to iPlayer on the web to watch them. Offline viewing is possible on desktop through the BBC Store Download Manager, while BBC Store apps for iOS and Android are being developed to enable that on mobile.

Around 7,000 hours of programmes are available at launch, with the BBC wanting to up that to 10,000 in its first year. Shows are priced at £1.89, with full series available for £7.99.

Some of the programmes available on the store at launch will include Sherlock, Doctor Who and Top Gear, including “new exclusive content” like a packaged Top Gear: The Races programme hosted by Matt LeBlanc, and a greatest hits selection “from the world’s most-watched factual entertainment show” — which is also Top Gear.

Serial shows like Eastenders and Holby City will be available to buy immediately after broadcast, while some such as plays like Alice, Schmoedipus, A Beast With Two Backs, Traitor, Follow The Yellow Brick Road and Doubledare by Dennis Potter, and The Frost Interviews, will be available to buy for the first time.

Dad’s Army and Morecambe & Wise will be available to own digitally for the first time.

The BBC said that the new Store was the latest evolution of its previous sale of shows on VHS, DVD and paid downloads via iTunes and other services. Operated by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, the service is not funded by the license fee. However it comes in context of a major government review of BBC funding, and questions about the sustainability of a mandatory license fee model.


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By Expat