BBC Worldwide plans commercial iPlayer

The BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, is to develop a commercial version of its proposed internet download application, the iPlayer. The announcement comes as BBC Worldwide promotes former TV sales chief Simon Danker to the role of digital media director.

Danker will lead the team looking at widening the availability of BBC programmes on new technology platforms such as the internet and mobile phones. This will include the development of a commercial iPlayer, allowing consumers to download television and radio programmes via the internet.

Danker will also determine new commercial opportunities for BBC Worldwide's music rights. BBC Worldwide said developing partnerships with music and new media industry players both domestically and internationally would be a key part of his role.

Simon Danker said: "New distribution platforms will give audiences what they really want—access on-demand to an unprecedented choice of programming.

"The quality and breadth of BBC Worldwide's catalogue, and our global reputation as a distributor, means we are in a great position to work with platform owners and producers to generate new income streams in this space."

The BBC renamed its integrated media player (iMP) the iPlayer in April as part of its Creative Future review.

The application needs approval from the BBC's governors following market impact assessments and public value tests.

The licence fee-funded iPlayer will offer free access within the UK to programmes online up to seven days after broadcast on TV and radio. Beyond that the commercial iPlayer is expected to kick in.

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