BBC hunts partners for digital personalisation revamp

bbc2The BBC is opening up a raft of new contracts for a major digital overhaul, spanning data science, user experience, database updates and web design, as part of the corporation’s strategy to introduce greater personalisation to its online services.

According to a tender on the Official Journal of the European Union, the BBC is looking for a framework of suppliers to provide bespoke digital services and solutions for eight digital services categories.

These are “web development, mobile app development, back-end development, third party maintenance, emerging technologies, data science and machine learning, design and UX and host and operate”.

There is a potential budget of up to £12m over three years, although the corporation expects to spend between £500,000 and £3m yearly under the two-year framework, but it has factored in a two-year extension.

The framework notice reveals a need for services under 28 procurement categories, including database and operating software development services, website design services, system QA assessment and review, and more.

According to the BBC’s annual report, published last month, the organisation has created a six-point plan over the next two years.

Its priorities include getting more users of BBC Online to sign-in, and tracking data across multiple platforms and applications, as the broadcaster aims to secure “the data we need to make our online products feel like they are part of a single, consistent and personalised whole”.

It also aims to take “a big step forward on making the BBC more personal and more engaging. This means improved recommendations across our online products that surface new programmes and stories, based not just on activity on one app…”

In addition it wants “to make all our websites feel more uniform in style and format and automatically bring together all the BBC’s output on a given topic in one place”.

Finally, the corporation “will track how our audiences use the whole BBC portfolio – starting with the ambition to increase the number of young adults who use two or more of our platforms each week”.

Companies responding to the tender will be required to apply for and be successfully awarded a minimum of three of the digital services categories in order to secure a place on the framework.

They may also be required to work across the BBC’s digital portfolio including childrens and education, news, sport, sounds, home, iPlayer and TV.

Earlier this month, incoming director-general Tim Davie said: “This has been a critical time for the UK and these past few months have shown just how much the BBC matters to people. Our mission has never been more relevant, important or necessary. I have a deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality.

“Looking forward, we will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences in this fast-moving world. Much great work has been done, but we will continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant.”

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