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BBC looks to license technology behind myBBC

The BBC is looking to recover some of the £75m it has spent developing its personalisation platform myBBC, by selling it to other broadcasters.

The in-house technology is part of the corporation’s efforts to find out more about the kind of programmes and services its viewers and listeners like. Once they are logged in to its websites, myBBC helps the corporation provide them with personalised content.

Director general Tony Hall introduced myBBC in March last year and revealed he wished to “reinvent public service broadcasting through data”.

In a document seen by Broadcast, the BBC said it has “created a market-leading set of capabilities for capturing and responding to audiences’ individual actions and preferences that could help influence commissioning, content acquisition, platform design and monetisation”.

The technology at the heart of myBBC is source code coupled with application programming interfaces (APIs) for capturing and processing data and personalising services.

The broadcaster is now looking to license the technology to a company that can sell the platform to media companies “globally”.

BBC iPlayer is the last of the PSB VoD services to demand registration; Channel 4’s All 4, ITV Hub and My5 already function on a subscriber basis. However, the BBC says there is a “sizeable global pool of potential customers willing to invest through product licensing”.

It wants to license the technology swiftly as research conducted for the BBC over the summer found that rival broadcasters are considering similar systems “in the short to medium term”, so getting it to market “within a short time window is therefore critical to our selection of the primary licensee”.

The BBC anticipates that the chosen company could license the technology for five years from February next year, with the BBC retaining intellectual property rights.

The BBC started work on myBBC in early 2013. As of February this year, the cost of developing the platform stood at £75.2m.

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