AUNTIE BEEB is facing backlash after warning notices began to appear announcing the imminent closure of the BBC iPlayer Radio app.
At the time it was announced, Tony Hall, Director-Genera said: "We're changing the way we can all consume radio - with a new audio service BBC Sounds to replace iPlayer Radio - to give you easier access to the great British content we make."
But since BBC Sounds launched a year ago, the feedback has been mixed. Early builds didn't have many of the features that users were used to from BBC iPlayer Radio, and the UI was branded ‘confusing'.
Fast forward and most (but not all) features have been given parity and the BBC will officially discontinue iPlayer Radio in just two weeks. But the UI still feels clunky - for example, Chromecasting is now possible, but it's unintuitive, and BBC Sounds doesn't work on older devices as BBC iPlayer Radio does.
With an ageing radio audience, that's a big deal.
One Twitter correspondent said "This is is the BBC's worst decision since they commissioned Mrs Brown's Boys. "
Steady on - nothing's that bad, surely?
The podcast emphasis has already caused further friction, with some key content only available via BBC Sounds. That said, the success of 'Brexitcast' leading to its transfer to BBC One has opened it to an even wider audience.
The BBC points out that if they can't use the BBC Sounds app, they can still use it in a web browser, but that hasn't placated the masses.
Under the BBC charter, the corporation has to provide universal parity (as far as possible) for services via different platforms, but the web interface cop-out means that it continues to do so, just.
The news comes as Auntie works to transform itself into a digital-first corporation, against the background of dwindling licence fee revenue and the ongoing row over Over-75s TV licences.
Earlier this week, the BBC also announced the end of information services (News, Sport, Weather) via the Red Button, bringing to an end a pedigree of on-screen on-demand news, started in 1974 by BBC Ceefax. µ
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