BBC Planning "Netflix of the Spoken Word" to Take Radio Content Global

The Hollywood Reporter

British public broadcaster BBC plans to launch a "Netflix of the spoken word" to take its radio content beyond the U.K.

Director-General Tony Hall in a London speech Wednesday said that the BBC plans to offer all of its audio content, in addition to its BBC World Service programming, to people in foreign markets. He didn't immediately provide further details, including whether the BBC would charge international users. 

The BBC is funded via a license fee covered by British taxpayers.

"With our world-class content, we could use our current output and the richness of our archive to create a Netflix of the spoken word," the BBC quoted Hall as saying. "The BBC makes the best radio in the world. It is one of our crown jewels, and we have an extraordinary wealth of audio riches at our disposal."

He added: "It's one of the things that will help the BBC carry the full weight of Britain's culture and values, knowledge and know-how to the world in the years ahead, and say something really important about modern Britain."

Hall has been focusing on making the BBC's content available on new digital platforms and distributing it more widely worldwide. The broadcaster has also seen increased competition from streaming video services, such as Netflix.

Last week, the BBC World Service said it would launch regular news shows for North Korea and Russia as part of its biggest expansion since the 1940s.

Read more: BBC to Launch U.S. Streaming Service Next Year