As digital media firms continue their expansion and lead in countries like the United Kingdom, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is not pleased.
At the Edinburgh TV Festival delivering his remarks this week, the head of the British Opposition referred to Facebook, Google, and other online giants as digital monopolies.
Corbyn attested that these profiteering companies earn huge sums of money as their users “search, share, and like” the online posts on their websites.
The government official remarked that he does not want to see the public let these digital giants get their way. Corbyn added that these digital companies would eventually “hoover up” assets, digital rights, and people’s money.
In order to level the playing field, Corbyn recommended that a new windfall tax should be imposed on the said companies. This would be an effective recourse.
Digital license fees replacing traditional ones paid by British consumers could also be sources of funding. These fees levied from digital entertainment, and retail companies like Netflix and Amazon could diminish the financial load which more impoverished families in the country grapple with.
Corbyn also proposed the establishment of British Digital Corporation as a sister firm of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Funded by taxing digital media firms, this free service could be a response to the media giants’ dominance.
The money raised could expand and improve media which serves the public like the BBC, according to Corbyn.
In July, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which regulates the British telecommunications, postal, and broadcasting industries, found out that streaming has overtaken the consumption of established cable TV services.
The total of British subscriptions to Now TV of Sky, Netflix, and Amazon Prime has crossed the 15.4 million mark. For the first time, they have gotten ahead of pay-TV subscriptions, which amounted to 15.1 million.
Consistent with these developments, the revenues of pay-TV service providers have also declined for the first time.
These companies witnessed a 2.7 percent drop in total revenue in 2017 to 6.4 billion pounds (US$8.2 billion). On the other hand, the growing number of subscription to streaming services account for 25 percent growth in online entertainment revenues at 2.3 billion pounds (US$2.9 billion).
As digital media firms gain popularity and power, they have apparently impacted the UK with the viewing habits of the audience remarkably shifting online to the detriment of traditional TV and local pay-TV firms.