BBC leverages digital archiving to form new business model

The British Broadcasting Corporation is home to some of the largest and most treasured media archives in all the world. With the debut of a new strategy that will allow the general public to download programs for a modest fee, the BBC has lighted the path for companies hoping to leverage digital archiving for renewed business success.

According to BBC general director Mark Thompson, the so-called Project Barcelona will allow viewers to purchase a copy of a program just moments after its original airing by means of a pay-per-use digital archive. Collections will remain open to license holders indefinitely and even enable downloading onto personal hard drives and mobile devices.

"Our ambition would ultimately be to let everyone who pays the license fee access all of our programs on this basis and, over time, load more and more of our archives into the window," Thompson told the Guardian. "It could also mark an important step in broadcast's journey from being a transitory medium into a growing body of outstanding and valuable content which is always available and persists forever."

Several classic BBC programs like Fawlty Towers and Doctor Who continue to generate significant demand on iTunes and other resale platforms, according to BBC officials, which has renewed confidence in their decision to invest in an internal digital archiving initiative.

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