The BBC’s online presence is to be cut back to six “flagship” areas following a review of the corporation’s web content.
The BBC is to close the iWonder service and the BBC Food website – although the commercially funded Good Food site from BBC Worldwide remains.
More than 100,000 people have already signed a petition calling for the BBC to reverse its decision by early afternoon after news emerged the BBC was planning to close its food website. Although the 11,000 recipes will not be deleted, a source told the Guardian they will be “archived or mothballed” and “fall off the face of the internet” after the food site is closed. The individual URLs of each recipe will remain live, but they will not be linked to from any other part of the BBC website.
Only recipes associated with TV shows will be maintained, and only for 30 days after the show is broadcast.
The BBC News Magazine will be closed, the Radio 1 Newsbeat website and app will close, with content integrated into the main BBC News site.
BBC Travel News will no longer be offered via its own site and there will be no further development of the Travel App, although the latest travel news will still be offered elsewhere.
Local news pages will also be cut back, with an end to local index pages in favour of the Local Live rolling news format.
By cutting back the spread of websites, apps and other operations it will deliver a total saving of more than £15 million, or 15 per cent of the service’s editorial spend.
“The BBC has been at the forefront of UK digital broadcasting for 20 years, being among the first to offer online news and blazing a trail for on-demand TV through BBC iPlayer. But the online market is global and the BBC only accounts for around a 4.5 per cent share of UK adults’ time online compared to Facebook’s 20 per cent.”
The BBC’s online activities will continue to focus on these six flagship areas after a review to ensure they remain “high quality and distinctive”:
•iPlay and BBC Bitesize
•BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio
•the Ideas Service