Wednesday 20 February 2008

You can set your watch by it

The rules are:

  1. BBC announces new way of getting their content
  2. Within hours someone complains

This time it is the putting of content onto iTunes, Iain is saying that the BBC are making him pay twice.

Perhaps someone from the BBC could get in touch to explain why licence fee payers are now expected to pay £1.89 to watch a programme they have already paid for through the licence fee

While this is technically true, it isn't new and it isn't a rip off, the BBC have been selling on their content after free transmission for years, I would estimate that the biggest single supplier of DVDs to my collection is the BBC. Aunty gives everyone in the UK an opportunity to watch a programme on the television, usually several times, then you get 7 days more to watch it on iPlayer or your rich content providers "listen again" service (Virgin Media's has a slight annoyance, I don't get the whole 7 days to watch a programme as the clear the previous weeks content from a day at midnight) and these days you then probably get repeats on one of the many cable channels. If after all that you still haven't seen it but you want to you go and buy it. What the iTunes move is trying to do is make that last bit easier, not impinge on all the other ways you can get the content that have been paid for by the licence fee, in fact it is trying to make it easier for a specific group of people, those that don't buy the DVDs (and thus pay for more BBC programmes to be made) but go hunting for video captured copies of the content to download of the internet. What the BBC are hoping is that enough of these people will think it is easier to pay the money than spend the time trawling for downloads to make the whole project worthwhile. It would be interesting to know how much of the technology to get this done was already there in the iPlayer backend that cost most of the money that people were complaining that the BBC spent on the project.

Or maybe Iain is right, we have paid for this, let us ban the BBC from commercialising the content, pull the DVDs from the shelves and pull the cable channels they partner in. Of course shutting down the commercial arm of the BBC would mean the licence fee having to be raised by about 20% but that has to be worth it if we have already paid?


Unknown said...

I think that what's happening here is a bit of a blurring of the lines of what people are paying for. When it comes to DVDs and such I think people readily and happily pay for the ability to own and keep things that they enjoy watching.

The iTunes move comes more off of the back of iPlayer, so I believe people are viewing it less in the sense of "I buy a DVD because I like it" and more in the "I have to pay to watch it again just because 7 days has passed?!"

It's the curse, I guess, of modern delivery and the way BBC has embraced the internet.

Tony said...

I will get worse if the rumours about iTunes becoming the "download manager" element for iPlayer on mac platforms are true. So within the 7 days you get it free after you pay, in one application.