The BBC are one of the most recognised names around the globe when it comes to broadcasting, yet they’ve made the decision to block their content (as well as removing previously published shows) from Google Podcasts.

While some of the cause of the block is understandable in requesting Google sign a licence to distribute BBC works through their platform, but perhaps the surprising note in this is the requirement to share user data with the BBC.

Podnews approached the matter directly and were given a clear response to the content block:

Talking to Podnews, a BBC spokesperson said that Google is required to sign a licence to link to their podcasts; and that the Distribution Policy also requires Google to supply user data to the BBC. There has been a “consultation with Google”, and the BBC “has no choice but to stop Google from making podcasts available via Google products.”

It is a bit shocking that a company the size of BBC would put such stipulations on access to their content such that my response has been to unsubscribe from it on my chosen podcast platform. Afterall, do other podcast aggregators already share user data with the BBC without your knowledge?

Is this a step too far, or do you believe BBC have a right to know who is listening to their content and gain access to your information?

Source: Podnews.
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Depends on the scope of information they are requesting. Some basic information metrics such as location of user, list of pods a user is subscribed to, how often they are listed to, whether a user is male or female and the age group are all fine metrics. This information helps the broadcaster determine diversity of their listeners and which content is most popular.

Anything beyond that is concerning.


Who gives a f%&k?!?!?! Stop being so paranoid!

Luke Roberts

Lucky my google account is Ezekiel Humperdink… BBC can use may data any time!


From a BBC point of view, they are producing the content. Why would they not want access to that information? How many people are listening to it, what’s the demographic, where are they living, are they consuming just the one podcast or are they consuming more? I have less issue with giving that information to BBC who is producing the data and has a valid reason to want it, than Google who uses it for nothing more than to build a bigger database on you and make a profit out of you. I don’t see it as being any different… Read more »

Philip Clark

If BBC want that data they should create their own platform that people actually want to use, and collect it through there. Robbing their audience of choice because they want complete control of how their content is consumed is exactly what record companies did 15 years ago, so you can probably guess how it’s going to end up. But then if the BBC wasn’t publicly funded it would have died decades ago, so I guess they don’t really have to worry about respecting their audience.