The BBC Trust has approved plans by the corporation to make its programming available for download on an on-demand basis.

The on-demand proposals are the first to be subject to a Public Value Test (PVT), in which 10,500 individuals and organisations were consulted over the BBC’s plans.

The BBC will now make its programming available to view on demand through its iPlayer.

There had been concerns about the effect that the BBC’s iPlayer/on-demand service would have a detrimental effect on DVD retailers and commercial broadcasters.

But Diana Coyle of the BBC Trust dismissed them:

“Thanks to the thorough assessment through the Public Value Test, and with the modifications which resulted from the test and the consultation, the Trust is satisfied that the BBC’s new on-demand services will create significant public value with limited market impact.”

The Trust has approved most of the corporation’s proposal, but has set some limits on the service – while the BBC had initially wanted to let users store programmes on their PCs for 13 weeks, this will now be limited to 30 days. 

In addition, the Trust has prevented downloads of classical music and book readings, something which was feared would harm commercial rivals.

The BBC’s iPlayer will initially be available to those using Windows, though there are plans to roll the service out to Macs, cable TV services and Freeview boxes.