Global iPlayer launches on new platforms

The global version of BBC Worldwide’s iPlayer service is available on iPhones from today. Jana Bennett, president worldwide networks and Global BBC iPlayer made the announcement during a keynote speech at Informa Telecoms and Media’s Digital TV Summit in London.

Previously available exclusively on iPads, the pilot subscription service, which has launched in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, will also be available on iPhones and iPod Touches.

“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,” Bennett said.

Bennett also revealed that 35% of Global iPlayer viewers are watching more than one programme per visit, 25% go on to browse the app after watching a programme and that, on average, 75% of subscribers access the app each day.

Bennett also confirmed the company’s first external programme acquisitions for the global BBC iPlayer. Independent programme distributor DRG will supply a host of iconic British shows to debut on the commercial on-demand service in early 2012, alongside titles from the BBC catalogue. Bennett unveiled a new programme slate from DRG including Peep Show, Shameless and Black Books.

Bennett told delegates that the international iPlayer had a strong potential to “re-animate the BBC archive” and “bring the long tail back into play”. Providing editorial guidance to long-tail content meant that the top 20% of shows accounted for 60% of views, rather than the usually cited figure of 80%, she said.

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