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Should the BBC license be mandatory?
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The mandatory license stifles innovation

Market failures drive innovation. The BBC is protected from market failures by a mandatory license.
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Market failures are major drivers of innovation. Without exposure to market failures, the BBC will never be a media or broadcasting innovator.

The Argument

If the license fee was not mandatory, and people could voluntarily give money to the BBC, it would force the BBC to become more imaginative in the ways they could appeal to users. The drive to prove value and persuade people to voluntarily give the BBC their cash would lead more innovation in resource allocation, content generation and delivery. [1] This is visible in the way the BBC has responded to the changing media landscape of the 21st century. It has lacked innovation and instead sough to copy models from the private sector. Radio 1 and 2 were a response to the emerging pirate radio models, BBC News 24 was a response to Sky News rolling out a 24 hour news channel, and reality TV voting on programs came from ITV and Channel 4s early adoption of the format.

Counter arguments

The i-Player, which Netflix is an imitation of, was invented and rolled out by the BBC years before. The BBC's spending has given rise to the most successful creative industry in the world (per capita).



[P1] Market failures inspire innovation. [P2] The BBC is protected from market failures by a mandatory license fee. [P3] Therefore, the BBC is not as innovative as it could be under an alternative model. [P4] Therefore, the license should not be mandatory.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 6 Apr 2020 at 18:55 UTC

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