BBC to run adverts for international web-viewers

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.

2 thoughts on “BBC to run adverts for international web-viewers”

  1. To a rampant free-marketeer like me, you’ve got the question turned on its head. Instead of wondering why you are subsidising the world and wanting us lot to pay for it, I think you should be asking why you are paying for a website in the first place. If I was still in the UK, I would be most unhappy that I was paying for a website which I did not want to view. Still, if you’re happy to pay for it, it’s not my concern.

    If the BBC tries to make foreign viewers pay or sit through adverts to view its content, they’d probably lose a fair portion of visitors. The reason why it is popular with foreigners is that it is free from adverts and free to view. Oh, and paid for by someone else. 😉

  2. I’m actually quite happy to see my licence fee going towards the BBC News website.

    And, when I’m out of the UK for extended periods of time, I’ve found it a very reassuring presence, reminding me of home. Good old Auntie Beeb.

    Admittedly, while I was abroad, I wasn’t paying a licence fee…

Comments are closed.