AUNTIE BEEB is notoriously protective over its streaming services. As a public service broadcaster, it relies on anonymous data from its apps to ensure it is creating value for the licence payer.
So much so, in fact, that it has announced it will remove its radio streams from popular streaming radio app TuneIn.
In a statement on the TuneIn website, it was announced like this: "Effective August 30th, 2019, BBC streams domestically in the United Kingdom will no longer be available on TuneIn with the exception of select third-party devices and platforms. BBC podcasts will not be affected by this change, so you will still be able to listen to BBC podcasts on TuneIn.
"This change is driven primarily by the BBC's efforts to standardize how listeners in the UK access BBC stations, which, unfortunately, is something we are unable to accommodate at this time."
In other words, if you want to use the BBC's streams in your app, and your name isn't BBC Sounds, you'd better be able to provide the same data BBC Sounds collects.
Yes, BBC Sounds, the company's most recent incarnation of iPlayer, designed to put radio, podcasts and catch-up, along with a whole bunch of music content.
It was met with some disgruntlement at launch, in no small part because it lacked a whole bunch of features that were in its predecessor. This was finally corrected yesterday after a new version was released that supports Chromecast and an improved search by category.
In short, though, it's second only to YouTube Music for being released before it was ready, though it is much improved now.
Earlier this year, Auntie removed its podcast content from Google Podcasts and Google Assistant, for much the same reasons, whilst it held out for years over providing on-demand content to Sky, until it accommodated a "skinned" interface to match its branding.
This time, it wasn't branding, it was telemetry. As it explains in a blog post: "When we make our programmes available via third parties, we ask that those platforms either allow you to sign in to your BBC account - or provide us with meaningful data directly. Unfortunately, TuneIn doesn't do either of these, so we couldn't reach a data-sharing agreement with them."
Auntie's data collection is strictly statistical and strictly internal, there's no data mining here, but it also requires UK users to be able to sign in to their BBC account profile - which may be seen as particularly cumbersome for third-party apps.
The BBC has committed to continuing to offer TuneIn access where there is no alternative, but already Google Home devices have started directing to a BBC Sounds interface for its services.
Non-BBC stations are still directed through TuneIn. Where no alternative exists (such as with some TuneIn powered internet radios), the streams from TuneIn will remain.
The BBC adds that it is still discussing a solution over Google Podcasts, but this latest move was because TuneIn said it was not able to meet the requirements for being a streaming partner, at least at the moment. It estimates that it has 10,000 other partner services which offer live radio streams.
It should be noted that this change only affects TuneIn users in the UK and only live streams. Podcasts continue to be offered and overseas, there'll be full access, just as there's always been.
Both TuneIn and the Beeb want you to know that they still love each other very much, even if they're actually not IN love anymore. μ
It looks like the rumours were true
And it costs £35 a month for unlimited data
You're not the voice, try and understand it
Not 'Appy bunnies