Critics are up in arms about BBC plans to put ads on their website when it is viewed from abroad.
To me this is nuts.
The BBC is leaving money on the table if they don’t take ads and that money is yours and mine (for those of you that live in the UK at least). If they get money from somewhere else presumably it can come off the licence fee.
I disagree with the both the arguments against putting ads on the site:
- People won’t trust the news if it has ads – only someone at the BBC could really believe that! The overwhelming majority of news sites are commercially driven and we trust most of those to operate without bias.
- Putting ads on the site might weaken the Beeb’s hand when the license fee is next negotiated – good! As we move to a long tail world the need for a public service broadcast starts to diminish, in my view. Also – the notion that we somehow need a licence fee supported service more because it doesn’t put ads on its international site is seems a little absurd.
That’s my two cents. There is a detailed post arguing against ads here.