BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, has launched the iPlayer Global to the iPad today. Launching initially in Western Europe the iPlayer App will be available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland (not currently available within the UK).

bbc iplayer global ipad appiPlayer Global will be slightly different from the UK iPlayer App, it will deliver a selection of classic and most popular BBC content for €6.99 a month or a more cost effective €49.99 annual subscription. There is no Live TV, Catchup or radio service, simply a selection of shows available to stream, or download to the App for watching later or offline. BBC Worldwide cite Hulu and Netflix as paid for TV models that they would like to emulate however these are both US services offering US content. I know much BBC content is popular the world over, whether it is popular enough to sustain a subscription business model remains to be seen.

John Smith CEO BBC Worldwide said:

I’m proud that we’re one of the first international broadcasters to give access to our shows in a perfectly packaged app. This launch is an important route to market in our strategy of pursuing multiple platforms for our programmes and brands, taking British programmes to new digital audiences around the world. Today marks a significant next step on a digital journey that has already seen 12m BBC Worldwide apps downloaded across brands as diverse as Lonely Planet and Good Food.

The fees generated by iPlayer Global are designed to further fund the project, and BBC Worldwide is entirely separate from the license paying supported BBC.