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Further update on the BBC and TuneIn

Kieran Clifton

Director, BBC Distribution & Business Development

Thanks to everyone for your comments so far. It’s been really helpful to read your questions and feedback following the changes we made on some TuneIn platforms. Please be assured, we are listening.

The first thing we need to look at is functionality connected with Amazon Alexa devices. We know it’s annoying that features such as the alarm and multi-room for instance don’t work anymore. We have been talking to Amazon about adding these features to our skill for many months - but we were told they wouldn’t enable them. And, since we don’t have access to usage stats, it was difficult to understand how many of you were using those features.

We didn’t get anywhere, at some point we had to make the change - and now we can demonstrate to them how important the features are to some of you.

And happily, there is now hope. Amazon has, in the last few days (after we made these changes), blogged about enabling these features. And we sat down with the team from Amazon yesterday to look at how we can get to a good place - so we’re really encouraged by progress so far.

The other main area of feedback is around data - and why we need this in the first place.

Our aim is to make sure everyone gets the best BBC experience. Overwhelmingly, what we hear from the vast majority of you is you want products and services that feel alive and relevant to you. Not the same thing for everyone - but increasingly tailored to what you like and are interested in.

That requires data - just as it does for all successful online services in the market today. But in contrast to them, we don’t and would never use data for commercial purposes - we only ever use it to improve your experience. And if you don’t want us to, it’s really easy to opt-out.

But what we can’t do, is have an ever-expanding network of products that just aren’t up to what people expect from digital products in 2019. Whether that’s products and services that break constantly - due to software on devices not supporting the latest version, or the inability to roll-out features and functionality due to a certain versions not supporting it. I know this means for a small number of you we can at times cause frustration as we make updates. And it’s annoying for us too - to not be able to know who you are, so we can communicate better and help you make that change. But we have listened, we are on the case and we are eager to bring these changes to you.

I’ll be in touch again with further updates. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday 15 December: A further update on the BBC and TuneIn is available here.

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