The BBC’s digital download service is to close less than two years after it was launched, the broadcaster has announced.
Billed as an extension to the iPlayer, where content expires 30 days after broadcast – and as a chance to place the corporation’s digital offerings in direct competition with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, it has failed to attract as much demand as initially hoped.
A spokesman for the BBC Store said: “Since the appetite for BBC shows on SVOD (streaming video on demand) and other third-party platforms is growing in the UK and abroad, it doesn’t make sense for us to invest further in BBC Store where demand has not been as strong as we’d hoped in a rapidly changing market.”
Its closure comes as the BBC is under increasing pressure to generate cash outside the licence fee.
Hit shows such as Sherlock and Doctor Who are available on subscription sites Netflix and Amazon Prime, meaning the demand for download programmes to keep has diminished.
Although viewers will be able to watch their purchases until the store closes, programmes are no longer available to buy on the service.
The store will close for good on November 1 2017, two years after it launched, with customers offered a full refund or Amazon vouchers.
A message on the BBC Store’s website said: “The BBC will continue to find new ways of making BBC archive content available.
“And do remember that programmes on BBC iPlayer are now available to watch for up to 30 days after broadcast, alongside a range of complete series and fascinating collections.”
BBC programmes will continue to be sold on iTunes and other platforms.