BBC Worldwide has edged closer to its 2015 launch of download-to-own digital content service Store, having hired former Virgin Media executive Jonathan Green to head up the proposition.
The commercial arm of the broadcaster has appointed Green to the role of director of BBC Store, which is due to launch in the first half of next year.
BBC Worldwide Store will give people the option to buy and keep digital episodes and series of programmes such as Doctor Who and Top Gear, and will ultimately be integrated into the broadcaster’s iPlayer in the UK.
Although the exact date for iPlayer integration is yet to be determined it is understood that the branding will render it very clear to viewers which areas are commercial and which are free to stream.
It’s understood that the broadcaster will ramp up marketing campaigns alongside consumer PR activity to ensure viewers are aware of why there will be purchasing options on the iPlayer for the first time.
Pricing will be in line with market rates. Currently on iTunes for example it costs £3.99 for an HD episode of Sherlock, with entire series being around the £10.99 mark. Purchases can be downloaded and will be stored in the cloud.
Production companies will initially recieve a 30 per cent slice of the revenue, but The Drum understands this will increase over time as BBCW begins to recoup its investment.
Green, who was previously director of e-commerce at Virgin Media and head of consumer online at BT, will take up his new role in December, reporting to Marcus Arthur, managing director of BBC Worldwide, UK & ANZ.
Arthur said, “Jonathan brings with him invaluable experience won with some of the biggest players in digital which puts him in an ideal position to launch our ambitious new platform.
“Through BBC Store we will be making available a far greater variety of BBC programmes across all genres for consumers to discover, buy and keep. As well as favourites like Doctor Who, Top Gear and landmark natural history series they’ll be able to buy programmes which we haven’t previously been able to release including gems from the BBC’s extensive television programme archive.”
Meanwhile BBC Worldwide has also confirmed Sara Holt as vice president, marketing for BBC Store.
Holt will join the BBC Store team from BBC Worldwide’s Brands & Content team where she is currently head of brand and global campaigns.
It's understood that in time more BBC archive content will be made available to be bought via Store, given it is no longer commercially viable for BBCW to make physical DVDs of lesser known show brands.
The BBC Trust approved the proposals for the commercial online service this February.