There are plans to exploit the BBC’s full range of 15,000 separate music programmes, meaning the service could offer around 50,000 music audio tracks eventually and 3,000 hours of video content. It is understood that the public broadcaster’s commercial arm is working on launching a test version in November, with a full launch expected in January.
Crucially, unlike most established music players the venture, which has not yet been named and requires BBC Trust approval, will allow users to stream full-length audio and video music content for free.
BBC Worldwide will then levy charges for any audio or video music content that consumers want to download to rent for a limited time period or that they download for permanent ownership in order to transfer to other music devices. Significantly, and unlike Apple iTunes, all such downloaded content will be DRM-free, meaning users will be free to copy or transfer content to multiple devices.
It is understood that all audio and video music content will carry pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads, which will be sold by BBC Worldwide’s digital media sales team. Display ads will also feature on the service, including banners and potentially homepage takeovers, which it is thought will be handled by Google-owned online display ad specialist DoubleClick.
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