Laugh your way to the bank: Sweden's SVT public television network is transitioning to the digital age and now offering all of its content free of charge, online. Unfortunately this also means that anyone with a computer or tablet will now have to start paying television license fees.
Tax supported broadcasters across the Nordics have been looking for ways to collect new income in recent years as more and more people cut cable and watch content online. The fee rings in at 2,076 SEK (â‚¬240) a year, and is enforced by RadiotjÃ¤nsten. Thelocal.se reports that there has been a law in place since 2006 that states that a person who can access an entire TV channel on any device is required to pay the fee.
SVT's content is also available on mobile, but it sounds like they will not be collecting fees from everyone with a smartphone.
"The spectrum of mobile phones is so broad and we don't see their primary use as being watching a single TV channel," RadiotjÃ¤nsten spokesman Johan Gernandt told Computer Sweden.
Finland essentially did the same thing starting January 1 of this year. Perviously Finns had a similar system of a TV tax enforced individually for anyone that owned a TV. But under a new law, the public service broadcasting tax is now collected from general taxes, rather than on an individual basis.
Are these new revenue streams logical or too broad? Personally I'm on the fence. Let us know in the comments.
tablet photo by Shutterstock"