The BBC announced that it has plans to create a subscription-based service to access content currently only available through iPlayer — an on-demand video service available for free to citizens within the UK.
This means shows like Doctor Who, Torchwood, Merlin, and many others will be available worldwide the same time it’s released in Britain.
The service will get ported over to the iPad first in a subscription-based business model, although iPlayer on mediums will likely be a combination of advertisement and paid subscription moving forward, according to the BBC.
Why only offer iPlayer on an iPad? My personal assumption is because of the proven track record that iOS has for getting its customers to pay for content. Also, since so many fans have been forced to stream or pirate BBC content that they couldn’t find available anywhere else, this offers a solid first step into making money off of something that essentially has been “free” (albeit, stolen).
This news comes just as the BBC’s streaming media deal ended with Netflix, which saw four seasons of Doctor Who removed as well as many others.