On Demand: License to Kill

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Friday, 29 July 2011

The BBC is set to launch its iPlayer service to a global audience via iPad tablets. The service which will be trialled in 11 countries in Europe before being rolled out to the USA, Canada and Australia by the end of 2011 is a new benchmark in International content on demand services. With content at the fingertips available on demand for a small fee it does raise the question as to whether there is a future for the British Licence fee, and whether an on demand model can actually sustain a broadcaster long term.

The service will offer free content to the consumer as part of the  application, but content on demand is offered at a premium based on a monthly or annual subscription fee powered by eCommerce payment technology. Although the app provides a catch-up service as per its British counterpart, its primary objective is the supply of video on-demand services across the globe. Viewers are able to stream content via a 3G connection or download programs to watch at a later date. The BBC currently support a variety of channels for content delivery for their catch-up service either via the web, connected-TV or Smartphone as well as Playstation2. However this payment model is being  focused on the tablet for the one year pilot, with Apple’s iPad taking up the mantle as the leader within the tablet industry.

However, certain detractors are commenting that the annual fee for the service is half the annual TV licence fee currently payable by the British consumer and that our foreign counterparts are receiving British produced content for a fraction of the price it is available in the British market. With digital content monetisation such a hot topic in the publishing industry and Connected-TV already upping the stakes for broadcasters, could this spell the end for the rather out-dated licence fee, or will Auntie Beeb continue to justify its existence as a leading content creator of World-class programming.

That’s a much larger question then we can hope to answer here, but what is clear is that with the BBC embracing eCommerce payment driven digital content on demand the industry is shifting as the consumer demands the information and entertainment they want to see, when they want to see it, on the channel they want to receive it through.  Building multi-channel content platforms with eCommerce payments technology allows businesses and consumers to come together anytime and anywhere in the world, and ensures that broadcasters can win the battle for the living room and ensure their content reaches the eyeballs of those who want to see it.

MPP Global offer award winning core billing platforms which allow content makers to monetise their digital content across multiple channels.