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BBC to try offering shows on iPlayer before TV

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We've clearly crossed a psychological barrier to digital media adoption when major content providers are going online-first on a regular basis. The BBC, despite its sometimes stuffy image, is revealing that it's just as eager to break with tradition: it's been given the go-ahead for a trial that will offer content on iPlayer before it appears on TV. The year-long test will offer up to 40 hours of regular BBC shows in advance, with no TV license fee required. While the selection of shows isn't yet public, the offering should be a bolder experiment than usual in showing whether or not iPlayer can serve as more than a catch-up tool or repository for exclusives. Let's hope it does -- we'd like to see online services treated as first-class citizens.

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