Four Reasons Why The BBC iPlayer Is Chasing A Global Audience

The fact that the iPlayer is looking to go global shouldn't come as a surprise but some might question the timing given that the coalition government has already confirmed that it will freeze the licence fee (after an initial, short-lived reluctance).

The so-called Beeb tax currently stands at £145.50 per annum and may well prove to be insufficient to finance the corporation's grander ambitions to become a worldwide player much to the behest of rivals like News Corporation.

But there are at least four reasons why the BBC wants to make of the iPlayer, a contender on the global stage; first, there are a number of competitors that have started to emerge at least in the U.S and in more mature markets.

Youtube has already made overtures towards content producers in the US and in Europe and already carries content from the Beeb.

Another player, Hulu, is set to become a force to be reckoned with as it has the backing of the main content powerhouses across the pond.

The second reason has to do with the fact that by becoming a bigger player, the BBC iPlayer may foster the growth and adoption of Youview, formerly known as project Canvas, the other online streaming project the BBC (together with Talktalk, BT and a host of content producers) has embarked on.

The third compelling reason is piracy; programme produced by the corporation already account for some of the most popular (and pirated) content on the interweb. Rather than preventing fans to get their regular dose of Doctor Who and encourage them to get them illegally, it is preferable to offer an ad-supported or paid for platform instead

Finally, had the corporation chosen to stick to a UK-only VoD platform, it may have had to sell a number of its crown jewels (BBC Worldwide or BBC Magazines) or close more existing operations in order to finance its expansion globally, something that would have seriously dented employee morale.