An update on the BBC and TuneIn
Director, BBC Distribution & Business Development
Following the roll-out of changes to how you access live BBC radio on TuneIn on some platforms in the UK, I wanted to get in touch to address some of the comments and questions you had.
Firstly, it’s worth saying again that we don’t make these sorts of changes lightly - and that’s why we’ve tried to do this in a way that causes the least disruption for you. For platforms on which the majority of TuneIn listening takes place, there are alternative, convenient ways to listen to the BBC’s radio stations - whether that’s on BBC Sounds or through the BBC’s custom skill , for those of you with Amazon Echo speakers or many other devices which support Alexa. I have read the comments on my initial post - and the further update I made to it, and there seem to be two main questions.
The first is around the lack of alarm clock on our skill on Amazon Alexa devices. We would love to support alarms and timers and other features such as Multi-Room Music Playback but at this time it is not possible to add this functionality to the BBC Custom Skill. We will continue to try to bring these features to you - and are working closely with Amazon to find a solution.
The second is around the need for us to collect meaningful data in the first place. Unlike other organisations who use data for commercial gain, we use it to provide you - our listeners (and viewers) the best possible programmes, products and services.
Data is more and more important - as it helps us to make more of the types of programmes we know you like, and equally importantly, as a public service that is there to service everyone, identify gaps in our commissioning to ensure we’re making something for all audiences. Data helps us to understand the way you like to listen, watch and read. This is particularly important - especially as the number of ways you can access the BBC grows - so we can ensure we meet your needs and make the right choices around where we invest.
Alarms on Alexa are a good example. We have no idea how many of you are setting alarms to BBC services because that information is not available to us. Once we understand things like this (and that’s why data is so important), we can serve you better. We also want to make our services even more tailored to you - so use the data collected about what you watch, listen to or read online to offer personalised programme recommendations.
Unfortunately, TuneIn doesn’t either allow you to sign into your BBC account to do this - or provide us with meaningful data, so we couldn’t reach a data sharing agreement with them.
Finally, for those that are unsure which devices are affected by this change - we’ve published a full list here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/help/tunein-changes - as well as a link for how you can contact us.
Hope this is helpful, and thanks for reading.