Global iPlayer Killed By BBC

Global iPlayer Killed By BBC

The BBC’s subscription video-on-demand service will cease operations on June 26.

The BBC’s iPlayer app — that’s the iPad-only service it launched in Australia back in 2011 — will shortly be no more. iPlayer’s quite a powerful brand in the UK, where it accounts for a serious quantity of overall UK web traffic, but the service that was launched here was a little different, with a larger and wider quantity of content available. The catch there was that it was all archive content, whereas the UK iPlayer shows recently-aired programs, similar to the way ABC’s iView generally operates.

It’s a catch that doesn’t seem to have caught on, as the BBC has announced to its subscribers that the service will come to an end by the 26th of June. In an email to subscribers, it stated

BBC Global iPlayer is permanently closing between 26th May and 26th June 2015. Your subscription will be honoured in full and your auto-renewal will be switched off automatically after your final subscription term completes at some point during this period. This date can be found in your subscriptions tab on the iTunes store. Please also note that you will only be able to watch your downloads until the day your subscription lapses.

We would like to sincerely thank all of our subscribers for using the service, we are now developing plans to launch new digital services across multiple devices.

We’ve suspected that global iPlayer was on the outs for some time now. Still, there’s a glimmer of hope for new services that might expand beyond the iPad, although with BBC’s contract for program exclusivity on Foxtel, I wouldn’t be holding my breath for local availability.


  • Putting out a service so crippled with respect to content and platform was never going to catch on. The legion of UK expats around the world didn’t want to pay to watch Fawlty Towers on an iPad.

    As for “we are now developing plans to launch new digital services across multiple devices” – don’t hold your breath. I’d quite happily pay the BBC license fee just to get (easier) access to their radio content, very little of which is sold on outside the UK. The BBC closed down the external app BBC Radio Downloader a few years ago with the promise that they were opening this facility up themselves within months, but nothing came of it.

      • Yes I know about that, hence the “(easier)”.

        With the BBC playing around with the background streams it just gets fiddlier to operate, plus I’ve noticed there’s a much narrower window for content availability now than even last year. For some content you also have to run a UK-based VPN.

        I want to listen to audio, not wrestle with a lot of software.

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