BBC is Blocking Google Podcasts

Posted on March 26, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Google, Music + Videos, Smart Home with 29 Comments

The BBC has admitted that it is blocking all of its podcasts from appearing in Google Podcasts, Search, and Assistant. For some reason.

“The BBC requires platforms (such as Google’s Assistant) to meet certain conditions for BBC content to be available on their services,” a BBC statement to podnews reads. “We seek to make our content as accessible to audiences as possible, but until it can be made available in a way that meets our Terms of Use and the BBC’s Distribution Policy, certain BBC content will be unavailable through specific Google products.”

If that’s not unclear enough, the BBC has also posted a FAQ that doesn’t explain what rules Google is apparently breaking. But podnews reports that the BBC requires Google to sign a license in order to link to its podcasts and that Google must supply it with user data.

“After a consultation with Google, the BBC has no choice but to stop Google from making podcasts available via Google products,” the broadcaster explained.

But as podnews notes, licenses are not legally required for linking to content from a search engine or from other websites and the BBC’s licensing requirement is impractical.

“There are 670,000 podcasts in the current podcasting ecosystem, and any podcast app developer would be reluctant to be forced to sign tens of thousands of different licences to run a podcast app,” the site explains. “This requirement would essentially kill podcasting apps.”

Put simply, the BBC is really trying to steer its listeners to its own app, called BBC Sounds. An app that isn’t even available outside the UK.

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