The BBC is set to launch a streaming service in the United States as soon as next year, allowing residents outside the UK to watch most of the popular network's exclusive TV shows and movies.

The streaming service will reportedly be more like HBO Now than Netflix, as it will only feature BBC content rather than a multi-network collection of shows. The service will, however, be a great way for American fans of British dramas and comedies to watch, discover and enjoy more content from the UK.

Not every BBC show will be available on the service initially due to existing licensing deals. Sherlock and Doctor Who are two shows already licensed to networks, while Top Gear, Spooks, Torchwood and more are licensed to Netflix in a non-exclusive deal. Some of these shows will undoubtedly be available on the BBC's streaming service, it's just not clear which ones at this stage.

Aside from easy streaming of popular UK shows, the BBC hopes that their upcoming streaming service will introduce Americans to shows that have never officially aired in the States. This gives the BBC an easy selling point for their service over competing platforms: a large collection of exclusive, fresh content from years of broadcasting.

UK residents that want to watch the BBC (and other networks) via live broadcast must pay an annual £145.50 (US$225) fee, so its safe to assume the BBC's American streaming service will be paid. No pricing or launch date has been announced at this stage.