In just a few months, if you visit the bbc.com website from abroad, you’ll see adverts as you browse:
As a commercial organisation which “buys rights from the BBC at commercial rates”, Worldwide is keen to improve its returns on behalf of taxpayers, he said. New software employed by the BBC is able to track overseas users of BBC.co.uk. “What we are investigating is: should the BBC make money from these people and return it back to licence-fee payers to invest in programmes,” said Mr Moody.
Given that one in three hits to a BBC website is from abroad, this could be a pretty big moneyspinner for the BBC.
There is some opposition to the move, mainly from the BBC’s domestic rivals, who complain that the BBC is taking advantage of it’s public funding. But, as one of the millions of British licence payers who fund the BBC, I say go for it.
I pay for the BBC’s services, but the billions of people who access the BBC (particularly its websites) from abroad don’t, and this is a pretty good way of getting ensuring that I don’t subsidise the world. In particular, I like the advertising model, because it allows the BBC to generate revenue primarily from the richer users (because they pay for the advertising indirectly), while maintaining the site as free to access for people from poorer countries, that aren’t targets for the advertisers.