The BBC is set to create a digital shop for content from its archives, including material that has previously being impossible to obtain on DVD or Blu-ray. The Project Barcelona which was announced by BBC director general Mark Thompson this week is to allow people to download a permanent digital copy for a fee, with figues of around £2 per episode being talked about.
The use of the word permanent is interesting in the various write-ups on the web, though there is no confirmation whether this simply means a DRM enabled copy that will not expire, which will limit the devices you can play back the download on, due to the need for each platform to support the DRM system.
This new project is not a move towards making people pay for BBC content, but is a modernisation of the existing DVD sales channel, which generates revenue for the BBC through UK and overseas sales.
If the content is made available DRM free and at a decent level of quality, i.e. the same or better than BBC iPlayer HD then the service may prove popular. A price of £2 per episode could prove expensive for the equivalent of a box-set, so hopefully deals will be available when someone buys a complete series.