Saturday, 27 February 2010

Weekend Corporatist Fun

From Yahoo: emerged that BBC was going to announce the closure of the digital radio stations 6 Music and Asian Network next month in an attempt to appease a potential Conservative government by showing it that the Corporation understands the effect the deep advertising recession has had on commercial rivals...

The proposal to shut Radio 6 Music also met with the fierce opposition and protest from the music industry, which claims that it is a key component in breaking new bands. Over 60,000 people have joined online campaigns to save the station. The BPI, which represents the record industry, said that 6 Music was pivotal in kicking off the careers of bands including the Killers and the Ting Tings.

"This shows a fundamental misunderstanding about the way their music services work. 6 Music is not going to be replicated by the commercial sector," The Times quoted BPI Chairman Tony Wadsworth, as saying.

There was interest, however, from the BBC's commercial rivals. Clive Dickens, the head of Absolute Radio, said that the station would bid to buy 6 Music from the BBC. Absolute has double the listeners of 6 Music, but less than half the budget. "We would buy 6 Music from the BBC, both the brand and the network, and we'd run it more efficiently than they've been doing," Dickens said. (ANI)


Who's against closing 6 Music? Mainly the trade unions and the record industry (remembering that while BBC 6 Music is technically not 'commercial' broadcasting, it is in fact a series of advertisements for whatever songs they broadcast). I have a lot of sympathy for the UK music industry (whether pop music or West End musicals), but surely it's more efficient to reduce the tax burden on them (by scrapping VAT on CDs or theatre tickets) than it is to collect all those taxes and then to subsidise them, whether directly via The Arts Council or indirectly (by getting the licence fee payer to pay for a radio station to advertise their output).

But, despite what my namesake from the BPI says, along comes the private sector in the form of Absolute Radio, who can do the job for half the cost and is offering to pay for the privilege of doing it.

What's not to like?


bayard said...

How much will you bet the BBC won't sell?

Lola said...

We have to know. Is Tony Wadsworth your brother? Dad? Sex change aunt?

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, personally I think they will be forced to.

L, if he were, I'd ask him for a job.