A couple of days ago we talked about the BBC considering plans to offer a archive download service (code named Project Barcelona)  and today they have talk in more details about the plans.  It looks like it could be a interesting service with not just recent titles but archived content as well including shows that may have never been seen since the original broadcast. The service would be separate from existing BBC iPlayer service (which is funded via the licence fee) and the BBC’s content continue to be available on other services like iTunes.

The plan has to been signed off by the BBC Trust for approval so it’s going to be a while before we see the service.

via the BBC Internet Blog


We envisage this to be a commercial site separate from the licence fee-funded BBC iPlayer, which would of course continue to offer its hugely successful and popular service of recently broadcast BBC programmes to catch up on-demand for free.

Many of those same programmes would also be available for purchase via Barcelona, just as some titles today are released for sale as DVDs or on iTunes while they’re still in their catch-up window on BBC iPlayer– audiences would simply have a choice of whether they want an immediate viewing experience on BBC iPlayer, for free, or to buy their own permanent digital copy and watch it whenever they want.

The rights for programmes in Barcelona would be wholly non-exclusive: producers would be free to work with other digital retailers as well, and of course to exploit their programmes in multiple other ways, such as secondary TV channels, subscription services, DVD, video-on-demand, and so on.

Over time the aim would be to make available not just an expanded range of recent titles, but a far greater volume of archive content as well. Barcelona would open up an important additional space for that very broad set of BBC programming that currently isn’t being made available by the market, much of it never seen since its original transmission. We believe there’s value for audiences in that, as well as additional revenues for producers, rights holders and the creative industries.

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