'Grossly unfair - killing content!' BBC blasted for rolling out adverts for audio content for first time in UK

'Grossly unfair - killing content!' BBC blasted for rolling out adverts for audio content for first time in UK

WATCH NOW: BBC blasted for rolling out adverts on streaming platforms

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 20/03/2024

- 10:33

The BBC are planning to introduce adverts by late 2024 or early 2025

The BBC has been criticised for their latest plans to introduce advertisements on their audio content, which is streamed outside of the broadcaster's own platforms.

The company is looking to introduce adverts for users of Apple and Spotify who listen to BBC Sounds content, to generate sales in the UK.

They are planning to roll out the adverts between late 2024 and early 2025. However, those listening directly through BBC Sounds for audio content will not have to listen to promotions.

In a statement, a BBC spokeswoman said: "Listeners will continue to hear BBC audio without ads on BBC Sounds, but as many of our podcasts are available on commercial platforms like Apple and Spotify where adverts are the norm, we look to carry them in some of our content to generate more revenue to support the BBC, licence fee payers, our suppliers and rights-holders."

Andy Jones and BBC Sounds

Andy Jones says it is 'grossly unfair' for the BBC to introduce adverts

GB News / PA

As part of the roll out, it is understood that they will not include hit BBC Radio 4 shows such as The Archers, Baron Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time or interview series Desert Island Discs.

News Media Association chief executive Owen Meredith has said the move is "very alarming" and such an intervention will "profoundly distort competition, wreaking havoc on commercial players" across the media sector.

Reacting to the plans, commentator Andy Jones said the move was "grossly unfair" and warned of the impact on independent creators in the audio industry.

Jones argued that although the majority may believe this is a "small thing", but defended the smaller producers and said it is "doubly unfair" for them to compete with such a large company, with the addition of adverts.

GB News

Andy said the roll out would 'kill independent content'

GB News

In a discussion with hosts Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, Jones claimed that the plans will "kill independent content" on streaming platforms.


Jones admitted: "Yes, I admire and like a lot of BBC content, I'm proud to have worked on various different BBC products, but if you try and Google anything, the first two, three, four pages that come up are all BBC products, whether it's an apple pie recipe or a weather report.

"And the BBC bleeding into all these areas, which aren't really public service broadcasting already, and then to charge advertising on top of it, is killing so much independent content and so much competition."

Eamonn agreed, highlighting the current drive for advertising on a lot more streaming platforms, claiming: "I think people are finding ways to avoid adverts."

Isabel disagreed, responding: "I don't love an advert, but I do come from a company that needs adverts, so I understand their role - but I don't pay to avoid them."

BBC building

The BBC is set to roll out adverts on its audio content which is streamed on other platforms

GB News

Dr Renee Hoenderkamp revealed she now has to watch adverts on Amazon Prime, with an option to pay more to avoid them.

She told GB News: "Amazon Prime for example has adverts now, so I pay for my Prime, but now I have to watch ads as well. I think I can upgrade to lose the ads if I want to, but I don't take the second option."

Isabel joked that Amazon "must be struggling" if they are charging more for Prime customers to avoid adverts.

Jones then concluded: "For the BBC to start taking advertising on their products, they're going to take all the advertising money from other smaller independent producers and they're going to disappear. And we're going to have one set of political views, one publisher producing so much content - it's not fair."

GB News, which has been targeted by a far-left advertising boycott since before it even launched, recently announced a membership scheme to allow viewers who want to support the channel to do so directly.


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