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The Value Of a TV Licence Is Obsolete

Posted on: December 20, 2011

The number of online service subscriptions people now have is growing at an exponential rate. The days of a software licence are long gone as we move to a monthly pro-rata price model. The de facto of online consumerism is becoming licence-free; Gym memberships, software titles, online services (SAAS) are a few examples that have thrived under the pro-rata subscription.

I have a LinkedIn premium account. An Evernote subscription. A Spotify subscription. A SproutSocial subscription. A Hootsuite subscription and a monthly hosting package. They are relatively inexpensive, contract free, and convenient. All very necessary. I have the control to cancel or upgrade at my convenience. Lovely jubbly.

I’ve always hard rather mixed feelings towards the TV licence. As much as I condone its necessity to conjure fine television viewing, I don’t like the fact that it is attached and registered to a property address. I can’t migrate seamlessly from one property to another without the need to notify big brother. None of the subscriptions I have listed above operate in this fashion so why does the TV licensing scheme have to? If I went to a party I would be able to dock my iPhone into the nearest sound dock, open up Spotify and be off. My Spotify ‘licence’ goes with me and will continue to do so all the time I cough up. At work. On a train. On the beach. Whenever, wherever.

I want to own my subscriptions and rent the service. I don’t want to feel restricted in purchasing a service I HAVE DECIDED to choose.

It might be because I feel more attached to the technology I own (mobile devices, desktops etc.) than the property I am renting and things would probably be very different if circumstances were more ‘permanent’. That being said, I wouldn’t consider renting hardware (TV, computer, speakers) and would only consider subscribing to services in the future.

People can avoid paying for a TV licence and people do. Via the TV Licensing website offers annual, quarterly, monthly and even weekly plans but the concept of a licence attached to an address is archaic and foolish. If people want a mobile Spotify account they must pass over the pennies. Buying a TV licence offers no return for the majority other than being and feeling guilt free of when reading the spammy leaflets through the door.

Dear BBC,

You have a wonderful and easy to use iPad app. Monetise and get the return you truly deserve…

Oh, and charge the Yanks top dollar! It’s not fair they get some of it for free!

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1 Response to "The Value Of a TV Licence Is Obsolete"

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