BBC plotting paid download service to rival iTunes?

New and old shows could be sold for £1.89 to boost Aunty's coffers

Project Barcelona could be the BBC's answer to iTunes, offering download-to-own access to TV shows new and old for £1.89, although it is likely to fave industry resistance

The BBC is reportedly planning to launch an iTunes-like download portal to sell programming new and old.

PaidContent reckons that the Beeb will sell its content for £1.89 per show in an attempt to monentise its library and boost the coffers amid widespread cutbacks across the organisation following the license fee freeze.

'Project Barcelona' as the scheme has been codenamed is “about making what is effectively seen as non-commercial programming available to the market at a price and ease of use that will encourage consumers to purchase programmes that the commercial market would not make available due to the poor returns and risk involved”, says the report.

The service is likely to sit alongside the BBC iPlayer, which currently offers streams and downloads for 30 days after it appears on BBC TV. Project Barcelona would give digital ownership of the content for a small fee.

It would also offer access to archive content, with the iPlayer doesn't currently cater for aside from the Global iPlayer app from BBC Worldwide.

The Corporation apparently plans to ease independent studios' fears that it may cut into their DVD sales, by offering them a 40 pence share of the £1.89 revenue per episode. Apple currently offer just 28p per £1.89 spend.

A BBC spokesman said: "In addition to BBC iPlayer, the BBC already makes some of its content available on a download-to-own (DTO) basis. Any proposal to extend this facility would require not just the support of the industry but formal approval by the BBC executive and the BBC Trust."

Via: PaidContent, Telegraph