Newspapers slam BBC iPhone app plans
Stick to your knitting, auntie
Newspaper publishers are calling on the BBC Trust to rein in the broadcaster's plans to start making applications for smartphones.
The BBC said it will release a news iPhone app in April, and the move has not been sent to the BBC Trust for approval.
David Newell, boss of the Newspaper Publishers Association, said the BBC entry would distort the nascent market for apps. He said the move would: "trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers.".
Newell said: “At a time when the BBC is facing unprecedented levels of criticism over its expansion, and when the wider industry is investing in new models, it is extremely disappointing that the corporation plans to launch services that would throw into serious doubt the commercial sector’s ability to make a return on its investment, and therefore its ability to support quality journalism,” according to the Press Gazette.
Publishers also intend to complain to MPs via the Media Affairs Select Committee.
The Beeb is promising sports and other applications will follow the news app. It will start with iPhone applications before offering apps for other platforms. ®
Now surely the BBC exists to provide news, services and features that will be of benefit to the license fee paying public. Now if we, that public, want iPhone apps that let us gain access to all the BBC content and the BBC are going ahead with that then great.
The argument that the BBC's content offers an unfair competative advantage is in my opinion a load of rubbish. I want that content and I'm sure millions of other iPhone, Android and Blackberry users would love it too. Frankly if other companies can't compete they can take their tears elsewhere and stop spoiling the party for the rest of us.
Hurray for the BBC
I filled in a survey recently for the BBC News website. At the end of it my only complaint was that I couldn't view any of their Video news content on my iPhone because it's flash based. If they're going to create an optimised experience for me and provide that functionality (as Sky News do) then I'm all for it. What an excellent use of my license money.
As for the BBC Trust and the Media Affairs Select Committee: don't listen to the naysayers, they just want to piggy back on your position to push their own agenda to make more money. This move by the BBC is a good thing.
Murdoch et al can do one
100% agree with Headache & Macka above - the only people who complain about the BBC's "advantage" (read 'they're better than us & we don't like it') are foreign content providers like News International etc.
Maybe someone should erect a large paywall around Rupert, so you have to pay to listen to him - what, no takers?
Of course, the Tories will be in office (not in power) soon, so its goodbye to all that then,eh?
Tory voters, repeat after me - "I'm a not a Conservative, because I don't want to conserve anything at all - not the BBC, not the planet, not the NHS etc. - I'm a Tory, so I think what Dave & Rupert tell me to think"