Calls for users to be charged "micro-payments" for iPlayer

The chief executive officers of Talkback Thames and Fremantle Media (the parent company of Talkback Thames) have shown support for a "micro-payment" model for the BBC iPlayer. According to an article by the BBC yesterday, Lorraine Heggessey of Talkback Thames and Tony Cohen of Fremantle Media have added to the support from the media industry to introduce a new revenue model for online catch-up services.

According to research by Fremantle, users would be willing to pay up to £2 to see their favourite shows using an online catch-up service based around a micro-payment model. Catch-up services have proved popular since their initial release, with Channel 4 releasing their own, and Five doing the same.

Although other broadcasters are calling for support for micro-payment schemes to be implemented, a BBC spokesperson said "the cost of the BBC iPlayer is covered by the licence fee, so UK users have already paid for this service."

The BBC iPlayer has become popular following its release in late 2007, and has spread to numerous platforms. However, Steve Hewlett, former director of programmes at Carlton Television, thinks the BBC should charge users to watch shows using the iPlayer service. "Traditionally, licence fee payers have paid for access on a TV set - and only for the first transmission," he said. "The BBC never thought it was appropriate to give away DVDs, so why should catch-up be free?"

However, the fact that the BBC does not charge for its iPlayer service could make it difficult for other broadcasters to start charging, he mentioned.

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What about adding a BBC +1 channel. :D

The commercial side of the beeb...

http://www.bbcworldwide.com/about-bbc-worldwide.aspx

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Its mission is to create, acquire, develop and exploit media content and brands around the world in order to maximise the value of the BBC's assets for the benefit of the UK licence payer.

Mr. Hewlett's point is null and void, because the content on the iplayer when downloaded is DRM protected, so the iPlayer isnt analogous to DVDs.

DRM, as in time-limited, which DVDs aren't. Unless you count physical degradation, or them becoming obsolete, which they might become at some point in the future.

You Brits have the most insane TV system in the world. Everyone else laughs at you. Yes, we here in the US have to watch the occasional commercial but at least we don't get raped for a TV license fee, or have to be at the mercy of the BBC's inspectors who can drop by to make sure you aren't breaking the rules. Then they are looking to charge you to watch an episode of your favorite show later? Wasn't that the entire point of the iPlayer in the first place? And they want to charge you as much to watch the episode as iTunes charges for you to buy it?? Insane!!

Well first off, the BBC aren't asking anyone to pay - it's just the opinion of an independant production company who are looking to increase their revenue. It's sour grapes that a public service is providing something far higher quality than the commecial sector has managed so far.

Secondly... ah sod it, I can't be bothered. Everything else in your post was wrong or misinformed.

netizen said,
Everything else in your post was wrong or misinformed.

Other than who is wanting people to pay, what else was wrong? Do you or do you not have to pay a license to watch TV? Doesn't the BBC send inspectors around to make sure that people with TVs or other devices that can receive broadcasts pay for their license? Isn't the point of the iPlayer to allow you to watch TV shows on your computer for up to a week after they were broadcast? Wouldn't the proposed charge be at least (and probably more) than what iTunes currently charges for an episode?

I think that covers every other point in my post, so where was I wrong or misinformed?

No, the inspectors don't belong to the BBC, they are government operatives. And usually they only send letters, and maybe a van around a town, once every so often (in uni towns it would be about once a year, apart from that I've never seen one, but that might be because I don't live in a town or city), to detect people watching TV and try and match them up to people who haven't paid the license fee.
You're other points have validity, but you might have avoided a negative reaction if you hadn't insulted our TV system. Also this proposed charge will never come about, because the BBC won't let it, and despite them being linked to the government in a way, they are in charge of their own destiny; they make their own decisions.

roadwarrior said,
You Brits have the most insane TV system in the world. Everyone else laughs at you. Yes, we here in the US have to watch the occasional commercial but at least we don't get raped for a TV license fee, or have to be at the mercy of the BBC's inspectors who can drop by to make sure you aren't breaking the rules. Then they are looking to charge you to watch an episode of your favorite show later? Wasn't that the entire point of the iPlayer in the first place? And they want to charge you as much to watch the episode as iTunes charges for you to buy it?? Insane!!

If it wasn't because of the BBC, it is very likely that ITV and Channel 4 would already be charging for online content. Of the £11.63 we pay for our licenses a month (which comes to £139.50 per year), just £0.63 of that goes towards the online service, not bad considering that the BBC iPlayer pumps out 12GB a second at peak times.

We like to have a whine about it here and there, but I prefer them over any other. And the license inspectors usually send you a letter, or give you a ring if anything is wrong before sending someone round (although it does happen sometimes). It is in our interests that everyone pays their license. It would be unfair for 90% of people to pay for it whilst 10% are watching it without paying for it.

duneworld said,
No, the inspectors don't belong to the BBC, they are government operatives. And usually they only send letters, and maybe a van around a town, once every so often (in uni towns it would be about once a year, apart from that I've never seen one, but that might be because I don't live in a town or city), to detect people watching TV and try and match them up to people who haven't paid the license fee.


Thanks for cleaing that up. Obviously my only information on this comes from what people in your country post here. However, that's like saying that the FBI comes around policing FCC policies. Either way it is one government agency or the other checking up on you.

You're other points have validity, but you might have avoided a negative reaction if you hadn't insulted our TV system.

Considering that Brits and others around the world take every chance possible to insult the US, all I can say about that is "turnabout is fairplay".

Also this proposed charge will never come about, because the BBC won't let it, and despite them being linked to the government in a way, they are in charge of their own destiny; they make their own decisions.


Probably so, but you can probably bet that there are those in the BBC who would love to charge for it.

I'll have to agree with everyone here so far. I put my 2 cents in right at the start of the comments, but if the likes of 4oD and ITV Player start to charge a fee, they can shove where they don't sweat! It's more than enought that they implement advertisements into the streams, that's what th advertisers pay for. I don't have to pay to watch an individual show live/airing on Channel4 or ITV as the advertisers paying the broadcasters have allowed them to air shows for nothing.

In the end, all commercial TV will end up Pay Per View. Looks like I'll be taking up reading and piracy! lol

badblood said,
I'll have to agree with everyone here so far. I put my 2 cents in right at the start of the comments, but if the likes of 4oD and ITV Player start to charge a fee, they can shove where they don't sweat! It's more than enought that they implement advertisements into the streams, that's what th advertisers pay for. I don't have to pay to watch an individual show live/airing on Channel4 or ITV as the advertisers paying the broadcasters have allowed them to air shows for nothing.

In the end, all commercial TV will end up Pay Per View. Looks like I'll be taking up reading and piracy! lol

+1

Surely if these TV production companies (e.g. Talkback Thames and Fremantle) were that bothered they could just say in their contracts with the BBC that they don't want the programs on iPlayer. There are some imported American shows that the BBC broadcasts that aren't available on there, whilst others are. As far as I'm concerned the BBC pay the production companies for the programs either including the rights to put them on iPlayer or not.

I would not pay for BBC let alone ITV player 4od, the ITV Player is loads behind the iplayer in terms of performance and availability.

On average i watch 10 shows a week 2 * 10 = £20 and that is a WEEK, like i have £20 lying round to feed the BBC, i pay enough on my TV License for the likes of Chris Moyles to wake me up in the morning on his ridiculous 600k a year salery, so NO i would not be happy nore am i happy about this muppet ranting this.

R.

The BBC itself has no plans to start charging for programs, however, other industry chiefs are in support of the BBC iPlayer charging, because unless the BBC charge for content, other broadcasters will have a hard time selling theirs.

Yet again the media chief's show how unconnected they are with the real world...!

Tell you what, why not make us pay for iPlayer.... then see 99% of it's user base disappear overnight whist the majority of people fork out £50 on a PVR. Does the same thing.

And the crap he spouts about "Traditionally, licence fee payers have paid for access on a TV set - and only for the first transmission".

Take it he hasn't seen repeats of any of the shows his company produces on any BBC channel..?

I don't know how the law stands, but I assume the licence fee entitles me to watch the content via the BBC without adverts. The medium should be irrelevent (web, mobile or TV).
I rarely use iPlayer anyway, but I'd stick solely to my Windows Media Centre (which cost a whopping £30 to enable it to work as a high-end PVR - including watching it on my XBox360 upstairs on the big telly)

What a jerk.

Wait so i pay over £140 a year, and if you choose not to have a TV they won't stop harassing you even once you've proven you have no equipment, and now someone has the bright idea that i should pay more!

I know that legally the BBC can never advertise but if i find myself having to pay anything to catch up on missed programmes then it will straight off to certain other streaming websites/Torrent sites for me!

A big amount of users of the iplayer are students, they already have to fork out so much for uni and drink, are they really going to give up 2 pints (at a £1 each) just to watch a program they missed while out on the ****?

I think not!!

Student Unions - if you go down at the end of terms you can get as low as maybe 50p in final week and 20p final days when they are clearing out stock

mmck said,
Student Unions - if you go down at the end of terms you can get as low as maybe 50p in final week and 20p final days when they are clearing out stock :)

Sign me up! 20p, you're having a laugh, right?

Ahh, shame. Wait until you grow up and find out how expensive to live in the real world with out everything being subsidised!

According to research by Fremantle, users would be willing to pay up to £2 to see their favourite shows using an online catch-up service based around a micro-payment model.

Where the hell did they do this research? I don't know of anyone that would pay for it, given that we brits already pay extortionate amounts for our TV Licences.

I wonder - do you need a tv license to watch iPlayer though?

Less than £3 a week isn't exactly expensive. You can't buy much TV for that much, everywhere else in the world charge more.

Also most channels you get on paid services are nonsense, there's only a handful worth paying for.

You need a TV license if ANY device in your home/business is capable of picking up a TV or Radio signal. That said, there are loopholes (CCTV systems), but you have to pretty much kiss ass to the TV License Inspectors, who will call and "inspect" the devices to ensure that no TV/Radio is coming through the systems!

Also, 2 quid a week for unlimited access would be fine, I ain't then paying an extra 130 quid (approx) a year for my TV License as well! £2 * 52 = £104 = cheaper than the current license. I watch little BBC stuff anyway. Any live footy and Top Gear is about it. Oh and Match of the Day 1/2.

badblood said,
You need a TV license if ANY device in your home/business is capable of picking up a TV or Radio signal. That said, there are loopholes (CCTV systems), but you have to pretty much kiss ass to the TV License Inspectors, who will call and "inspect" the devices to ensure that no TV/Radio is coming through the systems!

Also, 2 quid a week for unlimited access would be fine, I ain't then paying an extra 130 quid (approx) a year for my TV License as well! £2 * 52 = £104 = cheaper than the current license. I watch little BBC stuff anyway. Any live footy and Top Gear is about it. Oh and Match of the Day 1/2.

It doesnt matter if you have anything that receives radio/tv anymore, last year (?) it was made a mandatory tax.

Shirosaki said,
It doesnt matter if you have anything that receives radio/tv anymore, last year (?) it was made a mandatory tax.

What a load of rubbish.

You need a license if you have equipment capable of receiving a live TV signal AND use it in order to view "TV programmes as they appear on TV". You are well within your rights to own a TV without a license as long as you don't connect it to an aerial and watch TV on it.

You do not need a license to watch TV clips on your computer, you do need one though if you watch live streaming TV, those are programmes which are available to view over the internet at the same time as they appear on TV apparently.

ccuk said,
You need a license if you have equipment capable of receiving a live TV signal AND use it in order to view "TV programmes as they appear on TV". You are well within your rights to own a TV without a license as long as you don't connect it to an aerial and watch TV on it.

You do now need to give your personal details (Name, Address ,etc) if you purchase a TV in the UK now so that they can verify that you are paying for your TV licence.

Majesticmerc said,
You do now need to give your personal details (Name, Address ,etc) if you purchase a TV in the UK now so that they can verify that you are paying for your TV licence.

Thanks for telling us all something which has been in effect for nearly over half a decade...

Owning a TV isn't enough to make someone pay for a license. These scare tactics used to make people pay for licenses they simply may not need, are wrong.

Read the terms and requirements for owning a license... If read properly ,and not the fluffy "overview", it quite clearly states that you can own a TV WITHOUT a license as long as you don't connect it to an aerial and watch TV as it is being shown.

No way should anyone in the UK have to pay extra for something we ALREADY pay for in our license fees. HOWEVER, I have no problem with a pay to view system for people OUTSIDE of the UK. In fact, I think that's actually a GOOD idea. It raises some extra money AND allows people in other countries to watch. Hell, I wish Hulu would do something like that so I can catch some US shows rather than having to torrent them...

And no, iTunes is NOT a viable solution. I'd rather ram a brick through my PC than install iTunes on it; it'd cause less crashes.

+1

Great idea, and ridiculous that it's not been implemented already. They could even time delay/advance it so that if the show is on in the US at 8pm on the 3rd of October (example), it could be shown at the exact same time for streaming for international users. Hell, they already do this with Sirius. I listened to Radio 1 (BBC funny enough) in the rental motor on my last holiday in Florida, it was brilliant!

What a load of crap, the fact that I have to pay a TV License and pay for Sky is bad enough. But as +Ikaobos said, lets watch the iPlayer go down the pan, because nobody will bother with it.

Well who's ready to watch the BBC iPlayer go down the pan? I see this happening if they start to charge.

Somehow I don't see it happening though.

we allready pay for the content they create here in the UK for the BBC, its called the TV Licence Fee, the both of them are twats. Of course they would support micro-payments, theyd get paid initially for creating and selling their programs to the BBC, then ALSO get a cut of every "micro-payment" from each of their shows, each time it is broadcast/streamed/requesteded on demand. I can hear the tills ching ching chinging away for them.

I use it sometimes, not often, but in all honesty I prefer TvCatchup and watch live freeview streams instead.

Also, "users would be willing to pay up to £2 to see their favourite shows using an online catch-up service based around a micro-payment model"
..........
I'm a user, and no, I would not be willing. Nor able.

If the iPlayer were to require payments to watch Top Gear (for example) I would just rather use my Sky+ box to record it on series link. The iPlayer I use for convenience, not due to missing a show. If I did have to pay, and I wasn't able to watch it back on Sky+, I would (God forbid) turn to the torrent sites and just download whatever I missed. If I would do this, what's stopping others from resorting to piracy?

Exactly all the shows would just become torrents and people would record shows more themselves, the user figures would drop drastically.

They have probably said Xusers*£2 = BIG profits.

If they can afford to offer it free now? What has changed to make them charge?

Yeah, I might be happy to pay up to £2 ONCE. I'm not going to do it for every show I miss, or everyday. I wouldn't even pay that per week for all missed shows.

Yeah because the success of the BCB iPlayer shall continu if we have to pay for it. Instead why not increase the revenue for the alleged extra bandwith costs by using an aad revenue stream like MSN have done with the BBC player using the old back catalogue of shows. watching a show with a 30 second start add and a 20ish second mid add is no big deal.

I pay my licence fee and at the end of the day am entitled to atch that show whenever I like, they don't give away DVD's because you can't keep them!!!! You can't (legally) capture a streaming video to keep!!!

cerealfreak said,
Yeah because the success of the BCB iPlayer shall continu if we have to pay for it. Instead why not increase the revenue for the alleged extra bandwith costs by using an aad revenue stream like MSN have done with the BBC player using the old back catalogue of shows. watching a show with a 30 second start add and a 20ish second mid add is no big deal.

I pay my licence fee and at the end of the day am entitled to atch that show whenever I like, they don't give away DVD's because you can't keep them!!!! You can't (legally) capture a streaming video to keep!!!

Yeah, this sounds absurd...

They're not suggesting that license payers should pay so don't see a problem. I guess this would be for foreign viewers.

Very much doubt it's illegal to commercialise programs or they wouldn't be able to sell them around the world as they do.

Mike Chipshop said,
It's illegal for the BBC to commercialise it's programmes. I'm pretty sure this is set by government too.

Actually it's only illegal to commercialise those shows when shown on BBC 1,2,3 and 4, the streamin iPlayer service could in effect commercialise programmes just as the MSN player does