The BBC’s audience engagement arm is in danger of failing to provide “value for money” to its licence free payers following delays to two major projects, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
BBC Audiences, which is responsible for collecting data about the corporation’s users across online, TV and radio, spent £22.4 million throughout 2016/17 as it worked towards the development of BBC-ID, which requires users to log in to access online content including the iPlayer.
The project was delayed for over a year, according to the NAO report, while a service included in the corporation’s cross-media measurement project, a major audience analysis initiative, faces delays of eight months.
The service is now expected to launch in spring 2018.
Amyas Morsem, head of the NAO, said: “Building on the effective audience measures that exist for TV and radio, the BBC has rightly sought to address areas where data does not currently meet its needs, particularly in measuring and understanding online audiences.
“However, there have been delays to implementing both mandatory sign-in for iPlayer and cross-media measurement, and access to third-party data is not fully within the BBC’s control. Until the BBC achieves the benefits it intends from these initiatives, the Audiences team’s ability to continue providing value for money is at risk.”