Ofcom have launched their consultation on BBC Sounds. Is there any potential to make a submission as Better Media?
Yes, if you’re volunteering to draft a response @RobW
I would be happy to, it might be useful to identify some key issues and themes first?
The BBC lacks civic input, so the commissioning process is dependent on a top-down and managerialist outlook. Should there be a requirement to establish online governance?
Should there be an obligation for BBC Sounds to carry content that is independently produced outside of the BBC’s structures?
Is the BBC Sounds app distorting innovation from alternative media providers?
Is the BBC Sounds content and production representative of UK diversity?
Fran Unsworth, the rather controversial head of BBC News, has suggested that BBC News Bulletins might go to on-demand services only via BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds? How would that impact on the commitment to universality and plurality?
BBC Sounds is pitched largely as a music, drama and content app, but not as a news platform, so how would the provision of different services integrate with the BBC’s obligations to inform and provide news?
Ofcom and the BBC use a model of audience development rather than audience involvement to develop broadcast media policies, with an app however, there is a built-in participative aspect, does the BBC need to be pushed towards changing it’s approach?
As more services are moved online, what happens to the BBC’s commitment to established and legacy platforms? Will they move to remove AM/FM transmission services, for example?
What happens to the data and the usage profiles?
Who can access the app, if it is restricted to licence fee payers only, then large parts of the population may be ignored and overlooked?
When do the developers of the App and its services ever put themselves forward for public scrutiny about how they determine the priorities of the app, and the algorithms that support it?
The BBC’s and Ofcom’s commitment to media literacy is passive, they do not support a media capability, access and engagement model, how would this continue to determine the ethos that BBC Sounds is developed from?
Can we think of any additional points to start to look at?
Can we identify where there is evidence of where the app is causing clear problems?
My hunch is that it will be reviewed, but given a clean bill of health, but will be monitored by Ofcom. Our objective should be to get invited to any working parties, monitoring groups, research bodies, and so on, so that we can play a role in keeping both Ofcom and the BBC accountable.
We can also probable be a lot more radical about a commitment to the Commons, Open Source, decentralised production and distribution as well.
DCMS have also announced that they are looking at Music Streaming services, which of course have a nock-on impact with other forms of media, such as podcasting, especially with the drive to garden-wall them and monitise them.