Thursday, February 18, 2010

UK newspaper association begs BBC to back off iPhone app efforts; apparently UK papers can not compete

Stop me from laughing now!

The UK based Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) has complained in an e-mailed statement that the BBC's plans to launch iPhone apps for news and sports will "undermine the commercial sector’s ability to establish an economic model in an emerging but potentially important market."

Apparently the NPA, which is clearly very interested in New Media judged by the fact that the last press release to be found on its site is dated 2001, thinks the Beeb is just too powerful for its members to deal with.
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☜  UK Newspaper Publishers Group fears a BBC iPhone app would be unfair competition to its members.

"The BBC is preparing to muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers,” said David Newell, director of the NPA. "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,” Newell is reported to have said.

"The development of apps for a niche market does not sit comfortably with the BBC’s mission to broadcast its content to a wide, general audience. In other words, this is not about reach, and we believe the BBC’s efforts - and the considerable investment - would be better directed elsewhere," the e-mail statement read.

Cry me a river.  I try, very hard sometimes, to defend the ways old media. But this is just too much for even me to take. Apparently, according to the NPA, the BBC's plan to use mobile media to make sure its content is read by as many Brits as possible is counter to its mission to "broadcast its content to a wide, general audience".  What am I missing here?

Yesterday's announcement by the Beeb was very well received as on the net as iPhone users were anxious to download a BBC app to compliment their Guardian and Times reader apps.

The newspaper industry is looked upon with the same distain as lawyers, Congress and Barry Bonds. I don't think that users of smartphones are going to be very sympathetic to the view that getting some BBC news on their phones is a direct attack on The Sun, and the other fine UK papers.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe they could be this stupid. Stopping the BBC will not result in better business performance for their papers. This makes the whole newspaper industry look stupid.