At the Digital TV World Summit 2014
Marcus Arthur, President of BBC Worldwide UK, has been revealing more information about BBC Store, the BBC’s EST service scheduled for a UK launch in the middle of next year.
Arthur emphasised that the service will function inside and alongside BBC iPlayer, where viewers will also be able to store their purchased content; it will be available on multiple devices, as well as “virtually all platforms.”
“In terms of the service we know from BBC iPlayer that one of the things that frustrated people most when it was just seven day catch-up, was the archive of programming you had on there. When you searched for something, if it wasn’t in the seven day window, it came up as ‘not available’,” he explained, illustrating the prospective close relationship between the two services.
He insisted that the BBC was confident its new service would constitute the most comprehensive collection of BBC content in the world. Nonetheless, he also stressed that he did not expect BBC Store to supplant its enduringly lucrative DVD market.
“I don’t believe that EST will replace DVD, but I do believe that it will be a sizable and profitable window. If you can show the consumer that ‘keep’ is still an option, and you can do it simply and deliver it easily to a place they want to watch, I do believe that there is a segment of consumers that still want to buy. And whether that delivers ten, twenty, thirty million pounds worth of profit I don’t know, but will it still be a sizable chunk of my UK business? I believe it will.”
He also emphasised that the opportunity the BBC Store would provide for a direct relationship with the BBC’s customers was “just as important” as the revenue it will generate.