iPlayer: Phaser nails it

October 10, 2013

It’s fashionable these days to say that comments on blog posts and articles aren’t worth reading.

Sometimes this is true.

However here’s an example where the comments are better than the article.

Steve Hewlett’s article in the Guardian at the weekend about Tony Hall’s speech on Tuesday trotted out some arguments about iPlayer’s on demand nature undermining the case for the licence fee.

Arguments comprehensively debated and debunked in comments and in particular this one from Phaser:

…iPlayer is something like 2% of the BBC’s offline channel viewing. 12% of those are watching the simulcast and therefore need to pay a licence anyway. We can safely assume that 80% of of those users also have a TV and a licence (and I suspect it’s more like 95+%, but lets go with something that should be mutually agreeable)…

An evidence based comment!

To which I would only add a couple of things:

1. My understanding is that you have to have a TV Licence if you own a device capable of recieving a live TV signal (not whether you actually watch it). Since you can watch live on iPlayer, and indeed more people may be watching live through iPlayer then…

2. Part of the case for the licence fee is an emotional one: if iPlayer gets better and better and more people love it, since it is funded by the licence fee, then won’t they love the licence fee more too?

(I hope Phaser is the same person who used to leave intelligent comments on the Internet blog but has been sadly absent recently).

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