BBC iPlayer subscription model

First it was Virgin Mobile Australia and now it is the BBC that are getting my attention. (Two companies at opposite ends of the customer satisfaction scale!)

I appreciate that the BBC is funded by a combination the UK TV license fee payer, UK Government grants and overseas sales of programmes/DVDs/etc, but surely there must be someone at the BBC clever enough to work out a way to make the iPlayer available via a subscription model to non-UK residents.


In case you don’t know about the iPlayer, it broadcasts a rolling week of a full set of the programmes broadcast on the BBC in the UK.

As an ex-pat, that all sounds very interesting, but sadly it isn’t available to anyone outside the UK.

I am sure the reasons why they can’t magically make it available internationally are complex and completely understandable, but it doesn’t stop me wishing they would come up with a clever way around it.

I have asked around other ex-pat friends and everyone I speak to is interested in the service and prepared to pay. Surely this could be a significant revenue generator and surely just a matter of time before it happens.

Before you say anything, yes I am aware I can get hold of the BBC’s output via a variety of legal and decidedly grey channels, but I’d rather encourage the Beeb to do the decent thing and sort out a way themselves – afterall they did it with the Radio Player.


4 responses to “BBC iPlayer subscription model

  1. So do you need a UK address to sign up, or is the service restricted to UK internet connections (eg IP address)? If it’s the latter, there may be ways around that 🙂

  2. simplerisbetter

    I believe it is based on IP address, but I would genuinely like them to work out a decent subscription model. I am a patient man, but I don’t want to test my resolve too much!

  3. It is based on IP address. The work around for most people is a UK based VPN or proxy server, but that is just way too much hassle.

    I don’t think that the BBC has a technical challenge in building a subscription model around iPlayer. I think that the key issue lies with the legality and rights to distribute content outside the UK. As usual it is the media giants that are screwing the consumer.

    As another expat I’ve emailed the BBC several times trying to push this issue, but I’m just one small voice. Maybe we should start a campaign!

  4. simplerisbetter

    I agree the subscription model would definitely work. I had worked out the IP workaround, but none too happy about it!

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