Offer the public a chance to speak, and speak they will. An open consultation that received responses from 10,500 individuals and organizations recently resulted in the BBC Trust issuing its final approval of the BBC Executive’s proposals for new on-demand services, with some modifications. It’s the first time proposals from BBC’s management have gone through such a consultation, called a Public Value Test (PVT).
The consultation showed considerable public support for the on-demand proposals, said Diane Coyle, chair of the BBC Trust’s PVT Steering Group. She added that the Trust is confident the Beeb’s new on-demand services will ‘create significant public value with limited market impact.’
The PVT showed that while individuals largely believe they should have maximum access to BBC content, some industry stakeholders had concerns about a potentially adverse market impact. PVT conclusions show the Radio Independents Group was concerned that ‘allowing non-DRM downloads of a large volume of documentaries… would have a negative impact on the emerging market for selling downloads commercially’ – expressly content developed by indies in partnership with BBC Worldwide and other distribs.
Some stakeholders were also concerned about ‘the unrestricted nature of non-DRM audio downloads,’ but the BBC believes applying DRM to restrict audio downloads to UK audiences would result in a loss of public value, and doesn’t think the possible market impact is damaging enough to warrant such actions. Welcome to the future of DRM disagreements.