In its efforts to capture digital readers in India, BBC World News is now partnering with technology companies in India to provide ‘personalised news service’ in the country. This new project is led by BBC’s research and development unit- BBC Connected Studio.
On its website, it says that it has undergone a major expansion, which includes the BBC’s base in New Delhi ‘becoming its largest outside of the UK’, building on its services in local languages, and now that the company is looking to grow its digital audiences across South Asia. Hence, the global broadcaster is exploring ways to deliver content which is ‘personalised’ and is ‘anytime content’.
With personalized content, the company aims to create content which can be delivered whenever and wherever in different types, as it writes on its website that BBC wants to deliver ‘variations of the same story‘ with the help of technology to the users.
To achieve the same, BBC Connected Studio has been conducting hackathon-like challenges for the technology companies in India. The broadcaster has already conducted a couple of events in April 2017 in Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. As per the schedule shared on its website, the broadcaster will finalize the companies this month and will come up with a launch later this year. It will also fund the selected companies for the project.
As per this Nieman Lab report, this initiative is part of BBC’s £289 million project which was announced in November 2017. The media company aims to reach half a billion people in the world and increase access to news and information. To achieve this, BBC World also received a part of funding from the British government in November 2015. Currently, the news service is available in 40 global languages, English included.
BBC ongoing efforts for digital readers
BBC News also uses chat applications Viber and WhatsApp to publish its documentaries. In April 2014, it’s worth remembering that BBC had launched a pilot through which it was pushing out audio bulletins and other updates related to the Indian general elections via WhatsApp, WeChat and BlackBerry Messenger. On WhatsApp, BBC transformed the service on election day into a live breaking and analysis service, sending more than 20 items to subscribers on the day. This included breaking news alerts and analysis from correspondents in its Delhi bureau.
On WeChat, BBC took a slightly different approach wherein it sent a single message with bundling all its headlines and story links that users could click to read the story. Users could also choose to read latest stories from various categories like technology, world news and business news which was delivered through RSS feeds from its site.
BBC in India
In October 2017, BBC World began its broadcasting in four Indian languages Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Punjabi. The global news broadcaster plans to create 157 new roles in Delhi in India and expand its bureau. The expansion into Indian languages is set for late 2017 but the broadcaster does not mention a timeline or dates.