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    The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

    This is a discussion on The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio - Telegraph Gillian Reynolds thinks the best radio ...

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      The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio - Telegraph
      Gillian Reynolds thinks the best radio is worth spending 8p a day for

      Should the BBC be funded by subscription rather than the licence fee? Yes, if you want to murder BBC radio. Goodbye to In Our Time, farewell Friday Night Is Music Night and the Proms, adieu to the best film programme anywhere, Kermode and Mayoís Film Review on 5 Live. Make your own list.

      Without the licence fee they are all goners. Not everyone realises that the television licence funds radio too. We take our radio for granted. But a schedule as varied as Radio 4ís is very expensive by radio (if not TV) standards. If the market could produce an alternative to Radio 4 it would have done so by now. Why hasnít it? Because recorded music or phone-ins makes more profit.

      Why doesnít commercial radio do drama? Because itís too expensive for the audience it attracts. Yet BBC radio is the nationís biggest single patron of drama and new writing. One afternoon play gets as big an audience as all the auditoria at the National Theatre in a year. Radio 3 is now the only place where the BBC offers the classic drama canon: Shakespeare, Strindberg, Shaw, Jonson, Ibsen.




      So why not offer live relays, as cinemas do now, for a one-off specific payment? Three reasons: the range of plays available would be far smaller; a play on the stage heard only, not seen, loses half its effect and even if you paid only £1 per show it could work out dearer. All of BBC radio costs each household eight pence per day. There are seven plays a week on Radio 4 alone and thatís not counting the daily serial and The Archers.




      Why not a month-by-month subscription? Netflix costs me £5.90 a month Ė money well spent to watch Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and House of Cards. Netflix needs such blockbusters to carry the rest of what is otherwise an indifferent offering. But the Netflix model wouldnít work because Radio 4 is scheduled to accommodate shorter and more varied slots, not box-set binge watching.

      Isnít something bound to change because you can watch television on a computer and a computer doesnít need a licence? True, and you can also listen to radio on a computer, not just BBC radio but radio from all over the world. But online is a two-way trade. There is a computer programme that Global Radio, (owners of Classic FM, LBC, Capital, Heart and many another) use, one that pinpoints where (in Europe, the UK, a town, a village, a car park) we are listening online to their stations and for how long. Itís amazing, a tool to show presenters, hour by hour, who they are talking to and advertisers, second by second, who they could be reaching. Advertisements pay for programmes but the price has to be right.

      I like Classic FM. I salute their close association with the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Birmingham Conservatoire. I admire their Saturday Night at the Movies, a programme that nimbly reaches beyond the expected. I also like BBC Radio 3, not when it tries copying Classic FM (as with its Sound of Cinema) or gets too chatty, but I listened to its superb coverage of Cardiff Singer of the World all weekend. Why listen when itís on TV? Because I prefer not to see the singersí tonsils and Iain Burnside, the Radio 3 presenter, is such good company. It felt like being there, not looking through a window.




      I love Radio 4, but not often at 6.30pm nowadays. I try to like such new shows as Big Problems with Helen Keen (Wednesdays) but I canít grasp what sheís on about. What I hear are lines that never seem to lift off the page. But, as Denis Norden said on Monday night on another new Radio 4 half hour, The Robert Peston Interview Show (with Eddie Mair), comedy isnít about fun much these days. Sorry to commend this programme for three weeks in a row when there is so much else to discuss.




      Like Sugar Baby, Sugar Daddy (Radio 4, Monday), Emma Jane Kirbyís careful close-up of beautiful young women paying their way through university by taking money from older men. Like Mark Kermodeís magnificent rant on 5 Liveís Friday film review of Entourage and Simon Mayoís perfect response.




      But it goes to prove my point. What BBC radio offers is not universally perfect. What makes it special is, because of its secure funding, an ability to make long-trm investment in ideas and producers who, now and again, turn them into something wonderful. Without licence fee funding all that is history.

      PlusNet Fibre since Jan 2021
      Previously Sky Fibre & Sky BB since 2010.


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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Yeah, yeah, yeah. No doubt the world as we know it will come to an end if the licence fee is dropped.

      When I wer't lad, a radio licence cost 10 shillings (50p, in case you were wondering) per year. When that was dropped, the world didn't end (not even The Archers, unfortunately).

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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      I think that its quite funny that the BBC can afford to push out the publicity wagon when they are supposed to be cutting their spending. Its especially funny when they are pushing out so many lies and getting others, such as the Telegraph in this instance, to support their outdated argument.

      The BBC has both national and local radio stations. They have historically bee very popular.

      There are many members of this forum who like to listen to the radio and I know a few people who like to contribute to some Internet radio stations.

      Ultimately there are lots of other commercial radio stations out there. Sure they don't have quite the same budget that the BBC stations do, but they are successful and do make a profit.

      There was a big fuss over the potential advertising revenue when Channel 4 was launched. A lot of pundits believed the hype that Channel 4 could never source enough material to be able to stay afloat. That was back in '81 when it launch some 34 years ago. What's the betting odds that it was ITV who were the scaremongers behind that one?

      Its all BS to preserve the status quo.
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      PlusNet Fibre since Jan 2021
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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Agreed. There are some 59 BBC radio stations, all funded by the taxpayer. The local radio stations squeeze out local commercial radio. I particularly object to funding the non-English language stations; if there is a demand, I am sure that commercial radio stations will service it locally.

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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Looking at that list of progs mentioned in that article, none of that appeals to me.
      In my world; my friends, colleagues or family listen to very little or no radio.
      I only ever listen to talksport on the radio for football matches not on tv or as an alternative commentary to the TV. Same with motorsport, listen to Radio Le Mans and the like for a lot of motorsport alternative commentary.
      All the music I listen to is now on the cloud (my owned back catalog) listening with apps like google play music or the free spotify and youtube.
      I've always hated radio plays, but love audiobooks and listen/buy loads and use google play books to read my ebooks too.
      One exception was the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy radio broadcasts.
      Do remember as a youngster listening to Radio Luxembourg 208 in the late 60s and early 70s and I only ever listened to the BBC for the chart show throughout the 70s and 80s (all those cassette tapes we used to share) and I loved the Friday Rock show with Tommy Vance.
      The worst of radio for me is BBC local radio and always seems to be a lonely person phone in.
      Never listen to any local or other commercial radio stations, but then I'm really not into the modern celebrity type DJ or any modern music.

      For me, radio is historical and I and many others I know have moved on from it. The mobile/tablet have really seen to that and created something better and different.

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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Certainly, much like with live TV, the way in which people listen to their music has changed considerably.

      Taking things back to the days of the gramophone there was little in the way of volume control, other than literally putting a sock in it. Portability was not an option when playing the record. With the invention of the 'Wireless' someone else could bring the gramophone's music to you as well as live bands. As time moved on radios started to be placed in cars.

      In time tape cassettes became more popular and you could either purchase a pre-recorded cassette or make one of your own.

      Things have moved on a great deal since then and even CDs are being replaced with our phones & tablets which can link to the music systems in our homes and cars via bluetooth.

      This is all great for those who have a suitable music collection available to them. You can have a mix of various tracks or albums that you love.

      Does radio have a future? Perhaps this is a question that can be debated more, but I believe it does.

      Radio has been a great portal to introduce new bands. It allows people to hear music which they might not have otherwise considered previously. As much as some may hate some of the DJs, but many have become much loved in our homes and cars.

      The additional services offered provide a great help to those listening. I wonder just how many of you haven't been grateful for the odd traffic report or an update on the weather? Sure mobile phones with the various apps can help with this, but there are still some areas where mobiles don't work. Also it is not recommended that you read your mobile's screen whilst you are driving.

      Yes I believe that radio still has a future. Commercial radio might be a little annoying with al those ad breaks that you can fast forward through, but those 'messages' do make them money.

      PlusNet Fibre since Jan 2021
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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Portability was not an option when playing the record.
      Where there's a will, there's a way:


      Car Record Players of the 1950s and 1960s | Early Infotainment Systems- Consumer Reports News

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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Yes remember cassettes in cars well, always used the tdk 90 and 120 min ones, they seemed to not get chewed up.
      Never bought any music on cassette,just bought it on an lp, single or 12 inch and copied to cassette for the car.
      Cds were fine, but they lost the feel and quality of the record and ruined the album art.
      But that quality thankfully along with album art was bought back to life with the lossless stuff (if you care) for today.
      I converted a lot of my old lps, some rare ones into lossless files, scratches and all.
      Oh those days of Italian bootleg concert lps and behind the counter record shops

      As for the record player in a car, I've seen quite a few of those over they years, called floating players. They work very well, but rare and were mostly in high end cars like a Rolls.

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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Don't forget the 8-track tapes which ran on a continuous loop. Their cassettes were much larger. I remember having to buy an adapter to be able to play normal cassettes in one.

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      Re: The death of the licence fee would be the death of radio

      Quote Originally Posted by FelixTCat View Post
      Don't forget the 8-track tapes which ran on a continuous loop. Their cassettes were much larger. I remember having to buy an adapter to be able to play normal cassettes in one.
      Although I know of them, never saw or knew anyone that had one.
      But its Pink Floyd myth/legend and endless discussion about the Snowy White solo bridging the Animals 8track version of the LP.

      jrfer and Scubbie like this.

     

     
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