BBC deletes classical music downloads

BBC News says on 31st January 2007 - TV shows like Doctor Who are expected to be available for download later this year after the BBC Trust gave initial approval to the BBC's on-demand plans. Under the proposals, viewers will be able to watch popular programmes online or download them to a home computer up to a week after they are broadcast. But the Trust imposed tough conditions on classical music, which could stop a repeat of the BBC's Beethoven podcasts.

Podcasts came under scrutiny, with the Trust recommending that audio books and classical music be excluded from the BBC's download services. "There is a potential negative market impact if the BBC allows listeners to build an extensive library of classical music that will serve as a close substitute for commercially available downloads or CDs," it said. The news will be a disappointment to the one million people who downloaded Beethoven's symphonies in a Radio 3 trial last year.

On An Overgrown Path was the first to say back in June 2005 when the Beethoven downloads were launched - the fact remains that a record company, or concert promoter, would give their right arm to have got just a tiny fraction of those 700,000 downloaders as customers. (The figure must surely reach a million before the symphony cycle is complete?) .... Despite high minded talk from senior BBC executives it is hard to see who the winners in this exercise are.

And, yes, even Norman Lebrecht agreed with me about the BBCs frost with the music business
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