Restore BBC radio streams to TuneIn

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On 30 September 2019, the BBC removed its internet radio streams from the TuneIn platform in the UK because it's unable to gather listener data. This has broken many basic BBC radio features on a wide range of internet radio devices – alarms, multi-room playback, stereo listening, and so on.

See this BBC blog post for more information.

The BBC's suggested replacements – the Amazon Echo BBC skill or the BBC Sounds app – do not support these lost features on affected devices.

Worse still, these changes only affect listeners in the UK. Listeners abroad, who do not pay the BBC licence fee, can continue to enjoy the full set of BBC radio streams on TuneIn on their internet devices.

The changes mean that

  1. A great many new internet devices are now effectively obsolete for people who used them mainly to listen to BBC radio
  2. Many people with disabilities who relied upon this service for a rich listening experience (stereo playback, synchronised playback in multiple rooms and so on) now cannot do so
  3. Radio alarms set for BBC radio stations on a wide range of internet radio devices and all smartphones no longer work.

The changes also do not abide by the quoted BBC remit of "making sure you can watch and listen to our programmes in ways that are both easy and convenient for you."

To date, there have been more than 2,500 negative responses across three BBC blogs about this change, but there has been no adequate BBC response about the main complaints. The BBC also declined to respond to the many complaints from its listeners on the 18 October edition of the Feedback programme on Radio 4.

The BBC should restore its TuneIn streams immediately and maintain them at least until fully functional replacement services for affected devices are available.