BBC launches personalisation app to bring its services together
The BBC has launched an app that incorporates iPlayer, BBC News and other BBC services. BBC+, which launches this week, will allow users to fully utilise their TV licence by providing a platform that combines all BBC features and content.
It will also have a personalised aspect, as the software will tailor recommendations to individuals. This is done by recording user activity and trends such as what categories they sign up to on the app, what content they have previously engaged with – including what they have read, listened to and watched – and location data.
Phil Fearnley, BBC homepage and myBBC director, was influential in the development of the app. He said: “It’s not just BBC1. It’s not just the programmes you normally like. We also want to surprise and delight – challenge people by broadening their content discovery.
“It’s about making sure we can expose people to a breadth of content – things that they say they are interested in, but also to be able to say ‘actually there’s things here you may not have seen’.
“This is a mechanism for making sure that the content goes as far as possible and that the people who might otherwise have missed it are given an opportunity to get it in a way that’s best for them.
“I think what we are doing is making sure the licence fee payer gets the most value possible from the licence fee.”
The launch will begin a test phase where the BBC will evaluate the reception and how users interact with the platform. It will then begin marketing it online and on TV and radio.
Though the exact cost of development of the app has not been revealed, Fearnley disclosed that people with expertise in data science and personalisation had been hired to work specifically on it and said it was a ‘serious’ project.
This is one of the strategies the BBC is pursuing to make its services more personalised, under the myBBC campaign.
This campaign was launched last year by BBC director Tony Hall, who said: “It’s the start of a real transformation – the myBBC revolution…
“But we will always be doing it in a BBC way – not telling you what customers like you bought, but what citizens like you would love to watch and need to know.”