BBC launching iPlayer on iPad worldwide

Fans of the real Top Gear from the BBC, not the U.S. knockoff edition that pales in comparison, are in for a treat, as the stalwart British broadcaster has confirmed rumors that it plans to take its very popular on-demand video iPlayer to the masses.

"I can announce here that we're going to be adopting a pure paid subscription model for the global iPlayer for launch," Luke Bradley-Jones, BBC.com managing director, told attendees at the Digital TV Summit in London, "in part to get audiences used to using the service, but more importantly so we can generate additional value from the service in terms of the user data that it gives us."

The Beeb, as it's lovingly referred to, says it'll make iPlayer available on iPads by the middle of next year, and likely will launch quickly in the United States.

In the U.K., the iPlayer pulled some 120.3 million plays in January 2010, nearly double its 61.5 million plays a year earlier.

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