The BBC Complaints department has now responded to Windows Phone users who complained about their new iOS and Android-only Newsbeat app.
The letter does not offer any illumination, merely making the usual excuses about focussing on “the platforms most-used by our target audience” and the cost of developing and supporting an app vs “how large an audience can be reached with a particular app.”
The response, by David Jones, Senior Product Manager at BBC Radio, notes they “have not yet developed apps for other platforms such as iPad, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone“ ignoring the large user base of Windows Phone users, though he does dangle the promise that “we may develop additional versions of our app in future.”
A private company is of course free to use their resources as they please, and while we wish Sky would make a Go app we can certainly not demand it.
The BBC however is not a private company, and every household with a TV is forced to fund their endeavours. With their universal fee comes a need for universal coverage for their services, and I do not think their responsive website is an adequate solution, particularly when it lacks important features like offline playback.
Do our readers agree?
Read the full response below:
Thank you for your comments about our Newsbeat app.
David Jones, Senior Product Manager at BBC Radio provided the following response:
“In June 2015 the BBC launched a new mobile app for its youth news service Newsbeat, for devices running recent versions of Android or iOS. The apps follow the April launch of a redesigned Newsbeat website with a responsive layout that adapts to fit different mobile phone, tablet and desktop computer screen sizes. Following these launches, Newsbeat’s stories can now be read on a far greater range of digital devices than ever before.
As part of the BBC’s drive to provide digital news to 16 – 24 year olds, we have focussed on the platforms most-used by our target audience.
As a publicly funded organisation, we also need to factor in how large an audience can be reached with a particular app. Every edition of an app we build carries with it a development, testing and support cost. We have therefore chosen to build native apps for Android smartphones and iPhone at the present time, and have not yet developed apps for other platforms such as iPad, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone.
We strive to offer an excellent experience on as broad a range of devices as possible, so we may develop additional versions of our app in future. In the meantime, all Newsbeat content can still be accessed through the new responsive website.”
We hope this goes some way in addressing your concerns, thanks again for taking the time to contacting us.
Thanks Naveen for the tip.