BBC Worldwide is shutting down its digital download store as audiences gravitate towards streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and other third party platforms.
“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,” said a spokesperson in a statement issued by the BBC.
In an interview with realscreen, a spokesperson from BBC Worldwide said the store is shutting down in part because the pubcaster is coming under increasing pressure to generate income outside the licence fee, and the store was not seeing a return on investment.
For many years the main source of income for the BBC was the licence fee alongside income from commercial holds such as BBC Worldwide, said the spokesperson. But the costs of fulfilling the BBC mission to inform and entertain have gone up.
“For example, we need to have more content across more platforms to reach out audience and the cost of content is being driven up by new entrants to the market,” the spokesperson said. “So the UK government has challenged to BBC to find more sources of commercial income outside the licence fee in order to supplement its public income.”
Customers who purchased shows won’t lose out financially as the BBC is offering a full refund or Amazon Video vouchers so they can buy or rent digital downloads and will also be able to watch the shows they’ve bought on the BBC Store until Nov.1, when operations officially close.
The BBC will continue to sell shows on Apple’s iTunes and other download-to-own platforms as well as on DVD.