Yesterday the corporation unveiled BBC Store, a digital service that they say should make it easy for audiences to buy, enjoy and keep their favourite BBC programmes. The offerings can be purchased at the bbcstore.com.
“We want BBC Store to do for digital ownership what BBC iPlayer did for catch up. BBC Store makes digital ownership really easy for audiences and means that we can begin opening up the incredible BBC television archive.” – Marcus Arthur, MD, BBC Worldwide & ANZ
For over three decades selected BBC programmes have been available to buy – first on VHS, then DVD and more recently on digital download platforms. Now, as more viewing shifts to digital, BBC Store allows audiences to choose from a selection of recently broadcast programmes; television favourites and lost gems from the corporation’s archive, making it the most comprehensive collection of beeb programmes ever published.
Audiences will be able to watch the programmes they’ve bought from BBC Store on BBC iPlayer as their purchases will appear in the new My Programmes area of BBC iPlayer to play back in full. They will also be able to access BBC Store directly from BBC iPlayer, to find, buy and watch BBC shows. BBC iPlayer will continue to offer the same range of programmes to watch live, catch up on and download for up to 30 days for free.
“The launch of BBC Store coincides with a significant milestone in the evolution of BBC iPlayer: the addition of ‘Places to buy’ links, enabling users to discover programmes to buy and keep and to watch BBC Store purchases back on iPlayer.” – Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer
The BBC promise their store will feature current BBC favourites including Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear and David Attenborough’s natural history programmes as well as recent hits like Poldark and The Fall and children’s favourites like Sarah & Duck.
There’ll be new exclusive content for petrol-heads including Top Gear: The Races in which Matt LeBlanc guides viewers through the most memorable moments from the show’s racing archive and an exclusive first chance to own Top Gear: Greatest Hits, a best of collection from the world’s most-watched factual entertainment show.
For Doctor Who fans there’s a galaxy of series from early gems like the recently released classic Doctor Who tale The Underwater Menace through to the current adventures starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.
And natural history lovers will enjoy a collection featuring some of Sir David Attenborough’s most memorable documentaries including Frozen Planet, Blue Planet and Planet Earth and new landmark series The Hunt. Many BBC programmes will be made available to buy on BBC Store the day after transmission including, for the first time, serial dramas such as EastEnders and Holby City.
Programmes available to buy from today for the first time ever include the plays Alice, Schmoedipus, A Beast With Two Backs, Traitor, Follow The Yellow Brick Road and Doubledare by acclaimed dramatist Dennis Potter; The Frost Interviews,in which legendary inquisitor David Frost interviews high profile individuals from outspoken football manager Brian Clough to disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe.
BBC Store is also making some of the best-loved BBC programmes available to own digitally for the first time including Morecambe & Wise, Open All Hours and Dad’s Army; timeless family dramas such as The Railway Children and classic episodes of ground breaking factual series from The Natural World to Horizon.
“The launch of the BBC Store including episodes of Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and Doctor Who, shows that video content owners are focused on generating revenues from their back catalogue. Great content is not exclusive to the BBC, with many other independent producers and filmmakers looking for channels to archive. Turning analogue into digital formats and having an online distribution platform has historically required a BBC-sized budget but the process can actually be really simple and economical. Let’s hope that others follow this lead and open up their archives for us to all enjoy again.” – Tom Blake, CEO of video management platform Imagen
As an introductory offer to celebrate the launch of this new service and to get collections started, anyone registering with BBC Store will be eligible for a 25% discount on their first purchase. The launch of BBC Store supports the BBC’s ambition to raise more commercial income to supplement the licence fee, allowing as much as possible to be invested in content for UK audiences.
“BBC Store will make more of the treasure trove of BBC programmes available than ever before. This is a result of a collaborative partnership that the BBC has led, bringing together the whole of the creative industry and BBC Worldwide, and which will establish a route to sustainable commercial returns to more of the sector.” – Bal Samra, Commercial Director, BBC
In the 1980s and 90s a number of small stores opened across the UK selling BBC wares, including books, mugs, videos and all kinds of other merchandise under the BBC Shop brand. An online version continues currently at bbcshop.com
Pictured: spoilt for choice: Doctor Who, Top Gear and Open All Hours.