The BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, has approved plans by the corporation to launch an online store for viewers to buy and keep BBC programmes.
BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, will establish and run BBC Store, which will sell new shows and a selection of archive content on a download-to-own basis.
The Trust said BBC Store “is distinct from BBC iPlayer, which will remain a free catch-up service funded by the licence fee,” but also factored-in possible changes to the iPlayer as part of its analysis.
In November, the BBC executive submitted proposals to the BBC Trust to extend the iPlayer catch-up window from seven to 30 days and to remove series stacking functionality – something that the Trust admitted “could affect the propensity of users to buy content.”
Commenting on the approved BBC Store, BBC trustee Suzanna Taverne said: “The BBC needs to respond to significant changes in the way audiences now buy programmes. The creation of BBC Store will enable it to do so, and to release a greater selection of classic shows from the BBC archive.
“In considering BBC Store, the Trust conducted a robust assessment and sought the advice of external parties. It concluded that BBC Store is a worthwhile commercial service that supplements what the BBC makes available through the licence fee and promises to bring value not only to audiences but also to the wider creative industries.”
Welcoming the decision, the BBC executive said in a statement that the BBC Store is a “natural progression in a digital age” for people who want to buy DVDs of their favourite BBC shows.
“We’re pleased the BBC Trust have approved proposals for BBC Store and recognise the benefits it brings licence fee payers, those who want to own BBC programmes and the creative industry as a whole,” said theexecutive.
The Trust said its approval of the BBC Store was based on an analysis of public value, commercial efficiency, potential reputational impact and compliance with competition and state-funding rules.