BBC sets its sights on a slice of growing online revenues
BBC worldwide, the money-making arm of the BBC plans to launch a brand new website in Spring 2007. Taking a leaf out of Google’s book, the site will generate revenue through advertising. Considering the amount of traffic BBC.co.uk receives, the potential for revenue generation is huge.
According to Jennie Allen, spokesperson for the BBC, the website “receives about one billion visits from outside of the UK, who haven’t contributed to the BBC’s funding.” As a result, the new website will use GOIP software, to divert non-UK users to a different site. This site will contain advertising that UK users will not see.
The money generated from this site could be reinvested in programmes, thereby benefiting UK viewers.
“Outside the UK we are market players like everyone else”
The BBC already generates approximately £55.2 million in profits each year, but their New Media division currently loses £5.4 million.
BBC Worldwide will also start testing a new version of their Interactive Media Player which will allow international visitors to download programs over the internet. For a price, the new version could allow for potential downloading of entire series including programmes such as Dr Who and The Office.
“There are still a range of internal approval procedures within the BBC to go through, before this happens,” Ms Allen concedes.
This will disgruntle BBC rivals, who already resent the great benefits the BBC reap through public funding.
In response to this, Ms Allen says, “within the UK, we’re subject to very stringent Fair Trade rules aimed at helping ensure a level playing field. Outside the UK we are market players like everyone else.”