Thursday 24 October 2019

BBC begins iPlayer Radio app shutdown despite criticism

The broadcaster says there have been improvements to BBC Sounds.

A view of New Broadcasting House (Jonathan Brady/PA)
A view of New Broadcasting House (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The BBC has begun the shutdown of its iPlayer Radio app despite grumbles from users.

It is being replaced by BBC Sounds, which was launched to a mixed response last year.

The older iPlayer Radio app, which many believe is superior to the newer upstart, is closing with messages going to its users from Monday.

Users have continued to complain on Twitter.

Carole K wrote: “Why are you getting rid of iPlayer Radio? The Sounds thing is so clunky. Used it for six months now. Hate it still. ”

@davegre wrote: “It’s a no from me. iPlayer is clean and engaging. Sounds is a frustrating disappointment.”

@rosskmax wrote: “BBC Sounds does not compare with iPlayer, no programme details and awful ‘in yer face’ graphics. Keep iPlayer.”

BBC Sounds was designed as a “digital home” for audio content, including music, podcasts and radio stations.

James Purnell, the BBC’s director of radio and education, previously announced the closure of iPlayer Radio would begin on September 16.

Writing in a blog, Mr Purnell previously suggested improvements to BBC Sounds, which was his brainchild, means it is time to switch off iPlayer Radio.

“I hope you can see how we’ve listened to you over the last few months,” he said, adding it is “the right time for us to have a single place for all of our audio content”.

He said: “We’ve been improving Sounds all the time and the time has come to switch off iPlayer Radio so the BBC only has one audio app.

“With the latest app update, BBC Sounds now matches the major features and functionality of iPlayer Radio.”

The BBC said a date for the final closure, within the next two weeks, has not yet been set.

PA Media

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