BBC Confirms Its Project Barcelona iTunes-Competitor Is In the Works

By Sam Gibbs on at

We heard rumours that the BBC was planning a download-to-own service, codenamed Project Barcelona, that would let you buy new and classic shows from the BBC’s archive. Now the Director General, Mark Thompson, has formally announced the plan to set-up shop with each show demanding a “relatively modest fee” on-top of your licence fee.

It’s certainly a contentious point as to whether you should have to buy access to shows you’ve already paid for with your TV Licence, but Thompson sees it as the digital equivalent of buying TV shows on DVD. The BBC is planning to make its entire archive available, including a load of shows you couldn’t previously buy on any medium.

It’s by no means a shoe-in at this stage; it still has to get by the BBC Trust and get support from independent producers. Still, as I’ve said in the past, I would welcome another option for getting classic shows, and if the money goes straight to the BBC that’s better than Apple taking a cut. Let’s just hope the “relatively modest” fee doesn’t turn out to be more than £2. [BBC]