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BBC boss wants to build “Netflix of the spoken word”

By | Published on Thursday 24 November 2016


BBC boss Tony Hall has said that the broadcaster is currently not making the most of its “world class” audio content, and to that end he wants to build a “Netflix of the spoken word” to make new and archive radio content available worldwide, presumably in return for a subscription fee.

Speaking to the Voice Of The Viewer And Listener lobby group, Hall said: “With our world class content, we could use our current output and the richness of our archive to create a Netflix of the spoken word. One of my goals in the years ahead is to strengthen and expand those areas in which we really lead the way globally. News, natural history and drama, yes. But also education, science and the arts. And audio”.

“One of the big challenges I have set my teams is just that: to enhance our global audio offer”, he continued. “The BBC makes the best radio in the world. It is one of our crown jewels, and we have an extraordinary wealth of audio riches at our disposal. It’s one of the things that will help the BBC carry the full weight of Britain’s culture and values, knowledge and know-how to the world in the years ahead. And say something really important about modern Britain”.

Ah, modern Britain. Wouldn’t you like something important said about that? It’s not clear if the “Netflix of the spoken word” would contain music between any of the words, something that would add a whole load of extra licensing challenges for getting such a service off the ground.