The BBC has just announced that they’ve expanded support for their global BBC iPlayer application to owners of the iPhone and iPod touch. Until now you had to have an iPad to use iPlayer outside the UK, so this is big news for expats or for those who simply want access to high quality content for not a lot of money. Remember, in order to use iPlayer you need to fork up some cash. You’re looking at either 7 Euros a month or 50 Euros a year, the latter option being a shockingly good deal. Also the word “global” is a bit loaded since the countries supported are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Notice how America isn’t on that list? The BBC has been saying that they’ll bring iPlayer support to the colonies since July, but that obviously hasn’t happened. Now we don’t yet know how many people are using the Global iPlayer, but Jana Bennett, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer, says it’s not about subscribers, but about showing people the UK’s best side:
“This platform extension shows how Global iPlayer isn’t just about moving TV to tablet devices, it’s also about a mobile strategy – about truly getting TV everywhere in a way that it hasn’t been before. We also want the global BBC iPlayer to be truly representative of the whole gamut of British creative output, to represent everything that is great about British content – not just the Best of British TV but the Best of British Culture.”
Assuming iPlayer does launch in America, and assuming that 7 Euro price tag stays the same, that’s nearly $10 a month. People are already paying that for Netflix, Spotify, possibly even Hulu Plus, so think they’ll pay to have the British invade their television?