BBC iPlayer App Expands to 11 European Countries

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The popular BBC iPlayer app is no longer confined to the U.K.: the broadcaster announced today that's it will offer a subscription iPad app for 11 European countries.

The included countries are Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. The BBC chose to expand to Europe first as it's home to more British expatriates, who make a natural audience for the app. A future rollout by BBC Worldwide may cover the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The European app offers two subscription plans. Viewers can get a free subscription that lets them watch 10 to 12 hours of long-form content each month, or they can pay €6.99 (around $9.90 US) monthly for a plan that lets them download shows onto their iPads for later viewing.

By offering downloadable content, the European app is getting something that the U.K. version lacks. That shows a difference in strategy: the U.K. version is for immediate catch-up viewing, while the multi-country version is for enjoying a range of programming without ties to the broadcaster's schedule.

The BBC will monetize free subscriptions with 15- and 30-second pre-roll advertising. The U.K. version lacks advertising, as viewers subsidize the service with their yearly TV license.

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