Friday, February 26, 2010

Smothering The Competition

I was listening to a discussion about the future of the BBC digital radio stations 6 Music & the Asian Network and one of the points that kept being made by the presenter and the callers was that the sort of thing 6 Music is doing is not available in the commercial sector.

That is kind of the point though, when the BBC fills up every available niche it is inevitable that commercial providers will be wary of competing directly against such a vast organisation in much the same way that saplings don't grow under a rainforest's canopy.

Digital radio presented a dilemma for the BBC, people had to be encouraged to take it up to free the FM and MW frequencies and commercial groups couldn't really afford to establish digital stations until enough people had digital radios. Which put the BBC in a bind, they had to drive the changeover to digital by establishing digital only stations that people would want to listen to however this inevitably meant occupying potential market niches that might be attractive to commercial stations at a later point.


Mark Wadsworth said...

"saplings don't grow under a rainforest's canopy"

Yes they do, it stands to reason, unless all the trees are the same age as each other and the same age as the forest.

I thought digital radio was going out of fashion? I know that my wife chucked hers in the bin a couple of weeks ago.

I think the time for the BBC to discreetly exit the market and auction off the frequencies (or bandwidth or whatever it's called) to private operators has now passed.

Ross said...

The saplings which grow are the ones that have landed where there aren't already trees blocking out the light.

Nothing so radical as a complete BBC exit is going to happen. At most they might restrict themsleves to a fewer number of stations.