BBC 2.0 – ‘Outrageous!’

The BBC’s Creative Future (aka BBC 2.0) initiative has been well received from what I’ve read. You see, it’s the inevible direction to go, for a while, anyway. Well received except by a nervous few, like James MacManus, an executive director of Murdoch’s News International company. (ok, time to point out my disclaimer…).

This AP report sums it up nicely. Yesterday, MacManus

“accused the state-funded BBC of “blatantly commercial ambitions” and seeking “to create a digital empire.”

“Our view is that can only damage the development of commercial digital media,” MacManus said.

“This is being done with public money,” he told The Associated Press. “It really is outrageous.””

Oh yeah, totally outrageous. (outrageous -see, the BBC can’t spend $600 to buy their way into the online marketplace – they’ll have to do it themselves along with their audience).  And here’s a kerr-lassic. A commercial rival in the UK, ITV, is also whining:

“But an ITV spokeswoman said: “We would expect in light of the government’s recent White Paper proposals that any new BBC service or change to existing services, including online, mobile and broadband, will be subject to a full public value test.” “

Frankly, ITV hasn’t got to Web 1.0 yet. It needn’t worry about the BBC heading down the Web 2.0 path…

Another MacManus, Richard this time, echoes the sentiment of the tax payer:

“The BBC has always been at the vanguard of new media in the Web 2.0 era, thanks in part to their public service charter – but also they obviously have a lot of smart, innovative thinkers on board. Today they announced “ 2.0”, which will be a full-on attempt to turn BBC online into a Web 2.0 poster boy. They’re even going to create a “public service version of”, according the The Guardian report.”

Admittedly, the vast majority of UK tax payers won’t know or care what Web 2.0 is. All they know (and proven time after time evidenced by its traffic stats and the catalogue of awards the BBC has picked up for its online presence over the years) is that the online BBC has been simply outstanding, market leading.

Now, Richard is from New Zealand, so it’s not his tax money that will be funding the BBC 2.0 effort. But what he does want is for his local broadcasting company in NZ to follow suit:

“In any case, once again kudos to the BBC for leading the charge into 21st century web-based media. I hope my own New Zealand government proceeds down a similar path, with its NZ Online initiative (of which I’m a part of, as a ThinkTank member).”

Kudos to BBC indeed. Shake up that market baby!!!


Comments (3)

  1. Mark Devlin says:

    James MacManus is totally correct. This is bad for innovation and competition.  It makes it more difficult for start ups like mine to get into the market.

    FYI ITV recently bought Friends Reunited, a large sopcial network in the UK. Why should public money be used to fund competition against ITV and MySpace?

    I might remind you that in the UK that, even if you don’t watch BBC, if you don’t pay your TV license you will go to jail. Why should people who don’t even use pay for it? The BBC should be downsized, not expanded.

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Mark – it might be that your start up is the wrong start up if it is going to be put out of business by the BBC. The same arguments were made when the BBC were kicking behinds with their news site. Fact is they lead, others follow in this space. Yes, MySpace is ding very well, but everyone’s going down this route – at least you’ll know it’ll get done very well with the BBC.

    re: jail if you don’t pay the TV licence. This is also true if you don’t pay council tax. The difference is I enjoyed what I got back from the BBC for my money.