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BBC Planning 'Netflix of the Spoken Word' to Take Radio Content Global (hollywoodreporter.com) 33

Georg Szalai, reporting for Hollywood Reporter: "The BBC makes the best radio in the world," says director general Tony Hall. British public broadcaster BBC plans to launch a "Netflix of the spoken word" to take its radio content beyond the U.K. Director general Tony Hall in a London speech on Wednesday said that the BBC plans to offer all of its audio content, in addition to its BBC World Service programming to people in foreign markets. He didn't immediately provide further details, including about whether the BBC would charge international users. The BBC is funded via a license fee covered by British taxpayers. "With our world-class content, we could use our current output and the richness of our archive to create a Netflix of the spoken word," the BBC quoted Hall as saying. "The BBC makes the best radio in the world. It is one of our crown jewels, and we have an extraordinary wealth of audio riches at our disposal." He added: "It's one of the things that will help the BBC carry the full weight of Britain's culture and values, knowledge and know-how to the world in the years ahead, and say something really important about modern Britain."
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BBC Planning 'Netflix of the Spoken Word' to Take Radio Content Global

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  • This actually makes me quite happy, depending on how they intend to implement it... I would happily pay for a subscription to receive BBC radio plays and topical programmes. As an ex-pat, getting BBC radio content has been pretty much based on buying CDs, or grabbing dodgy torrent files....

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All the BBC radio stations, including the excellent BBC Radio 4 Extra, already stream for free everywhere, and you can listen to individual programs as long as they aren't over 2 weeks since they were broadcast. It's very nice.

      • by andrewa ( 18630 )

        Ah nice, I haven't bothered to try and use it for a while now as it always used to be the same old "content is not available in your country", that plus the easy availability of private torrents. I'm most interested in the radio drama, so will take a look and see what they're making available. Thanks for the info!

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Can't you already tune into their BBC radio online internationally? Is their plan to stop that and charge for it?
    • Some of the programs are available as podcasts too. I listen to quite a few of them.

  • by TodPunk ( 843271 ) on Wednesday November 23, 2016 @01:10PM (#53348245) Homepage

    This tech has existed since dialup, and has improved only a little with new codecs and whatnot for niche scenarios.

    So what exactly has changed? Licensing. Licensing has changed. The content creators/owners are now willing to use said technologies. Never forget that these limitations are not revolutionary in being overcome by heroes of content administrators. They are old and foul creatures slowly losing the sand between their fingers.

    Basically they don't want to compete with the podcast and audiobook anymore. I'd say they were too late, but I know better. Users are just as slow to move as industries (example: landlines are still used a lot).

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      A digital transformation for next gen propaganda. The UK wants its version of the news to be spread far and wide to get past traditional blocking in some nations e.g. the use of short and medium waves.
      Rather than call nations out on jamming, blocking policies the UK hopes to also use the internet without endangering trade.
      Its all part of the biggest expansion 'since the 1940s' with more funding. (16 November 2016) http://www.bbc.com/news/entert... [bbc.com]
      The UK was always aware of trade deals, jobs and the p
  • And called an RSS feed?

    • This will be different in that it will likely be less universally compatible, requiring a custom DRM-encumbered app that is available only on certain approved platforms and they will charge a monthly subscription fee for it. Win-win.
  • " The BBC is funded via a license fee covered by British taxpayers"

    Not exactly correct although some would argue the license fee is a tax.

    Every household has to pay the Television License (£145.50 per annum - £12.12 per month) if they have a device capable of receiving terrestrial television signals *and* it is able to receive signals (i.e; antenna connected), or if a person in the household uses the BBC Internet iPlayer service [0].

    As well as video services the license funds several

  • Hate BBC's opt-out "TV" licence. As if it's obligatory to watch their content.
  • by NetNed ( 955141 )
    Isn't this a diluted market already that people don't really want to pay for? I had XM/SIRUS for years and with in the last two gave up on it because I just have too many other options and content to listen to. If I did "books on tape" I'd go with audible or some other company that's been around for awhile and have the bugs worked out.
  • Does that mean there will be two parallel services? You can choose any story you want, and have it mailed to you from London on a DVD in a couple of weeks. Alternatively you can take the streaming option, but almost none of the stories you want will be available.

  • ...to try to deliver internet connectivity [slashdot.org] everywhere someday, could we please have back BBC World Service on shortwaves also in countries that are supposed to be connected, but actually aren't ? I travel extensively all along Europe, and having a *working* mobile internet connection fast enough for web radio listening is still a nightmare, and usually it costs you an arm and a leg, especially if you surpass your monthly data cap. I had shortwave radio on my car, and I could receive BBC without problems dur
  • A lot of people would pay money for a "netflix" of all the BBC-owned video content. There were rumors a few years ago about them making their iPlayer available in other countries for a fee, but it never happened. As it is, many people *cough* have to pirate some of their video content, because it's literally (the real literally, not the misused literally) not available to legally buy, rent, or watch.

    I'm not even talking about some rare episode of some obscure show that ran for 7 weeks back in the 70s not be

  • If the BBC offers a channel of only Scottish people reading the news, I'll subscribe immediately.

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