BBC offers personalisation via myBBC

MUMBAI: Sometime back BBC director general Tony Hall had spoken about his vision for the public broadcaster in the digital era. Hall had said that it would be the start of a “real transformation,” which would be called as 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,Hall had opined.

Leading the strategy to put the words into action is BBC director of Homepage and myBBC Phil Fearnley, who said that the online platform will be made more personal and relevant by linking up their content and launching new features.

A personally tailored BBC

Users have been promised that they will never miss anything important. Users will be notified when new series arrive, matches start, interviews are aired, road traffic builds up, news breaks or even suggested a dinner recipe on the way home. The new programme will bring together and remember user’s favourite programmes, interests, journalists, artists, DJs and sports teams, all in one place. If one has more than one device, BBC’s programmes and services will be accessible across all of them, so one can start on their smartphone or tablet, and pick up where they left off on their laptop.

“And this autumn, we will launch a new personalised app that aims to ensure we bring something brilliant from the BBC every time users open it up,” said Fearnley in a post.

What BBC has done so far and what can be expected

Some of the plans are already in place across BBC, online. For example, the BBC Weather app automatically finds the users location and gives weather updates wherever the person is present. On the other hand, BBC Playlister lets one discover, save and play their favourite music from across the BBC’s programmes or recommended by their DJs, actors and expert curators – across the BBC’s music and radio websites and apps, and now in iPlayer too.

BBC Playlister is one example of how the broadcaster is joining up the benefits of sign in across all of the BBC – here, bringing iPlayer and Playlister/Music together seamlessly. The new myBBC features and functionality are built on this. The new BBC News app launched in January, and myNews feature is an example of how one can tailor their online services and interests. 1.6 million people personalised the BBC News app since launch, claims the broadcaster.

The myNews stream will roll out across all platforms, along with election news, weather and travel that are local and relevant to users. BBC Sport already alerts one about their team’s scores, but starting with the new football season this autumn, it promises to bring personalised news and updates, allowing them to tailor the action to the teams and sports they love, and from there make sure they don’t miss the latest goals, gossip or the start of Match of the Day. “myBBC will create a unique blueprint of your learning experience with the BBC over your lifetime. These are just some of the many exciting new features and benefits to our users that will be coming to BBC Online,” informed Fearnley.

Data safety concerns

One of the concerns that has arisen is about data privacy and what data is being used for what purposes. Addressing these concerns, the broadcaster says that it will collect data, only to use it to bring things that matter to users, surface “hidden gems” that might not otherwise be found, and improve the BBC’s services.

“We’ll put our users in control over how they use their data, and be open and transparent about what we’re using users’ data for. One will always be able to change or delete it,” stated Fearnley.

The broadcaster has promised to never sell users data, let other organisations track what consumers do with the BBC for their own purposes, or even spam.

The post said the BBC is set up to serve the public and to help everyone in the UK get the best out of digital technologies and the BBC had no reason to collect ones data other than to serve them better.

The online space of the pubcaster will be using insights to make its programmes better by understanding consumers data through what they like and how they use the BBC.

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