The BBC is Putting Adverts in Podcasts Now, Just Not in the UK

By Tom Pritchard on at

Regardless of your feelings on the BBC, we can all agree that it's nice to be able to watch TV or listen to the radio without having advertising forced on up at every available opportunity.  Today headlines have been circulating announcing that the BBC will start putting adverts into its podcasts, but the good news for us is that this only affects the rest of the world. We Brits will remain totally ad-free.

The BBC has announced it's partnered up with Acast, the podcast publishing and monetisation platform, with the intention of running adverts as early as the end of the week.But since the BBC is funded by the UK people via the licence fee, those adverts won't be heard anywhere in the UK. According to Acast CEO Rob Adams (speaking to TechCrunch) Acast is able to ensure there won't be any adverts running in the UK or on 'edge cases' like UK military bases in foreign countries.  The partnership is also expected to offer the BBC more data about how well its podcasts are performing, so the corporation can "double down" on podcasting as a medium.

For anyone who wants to access BBC podcasts from outside the UK, or via a VPN, the BBC isn't going full-on dickhead advertising by having a clip every five minutes. Instead each podcast will feature two 30 second adverts, one at the beginning and one at the end, and will apply to all BBC podcasts.

Bob Shennan, director of BBC Radio and Music said:

“We’re working with established and new talent to produce shows which are informative and entertaining as only the BBC can be. The BBC has been challenged to generate more commercial income to supplement the licence fee and this new deal will contribute to that.”

Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English also said:

“BBC World Service podcasts have become an important, and successful, part of our offer to global audiences. In line with many other international podcast producers we are supporting their production by adding advertising. Global audiences are well used to advertising on the BBC’s World News TV channel and on the bbc.com/news website. This exciting partnership with Acast will supplement our public funding and enable WSE to reach an increasing number of listeners around the world.”

[TechCrunch | Radio Today]