NPA Lambasts BBC Over iPhone News Apps

As expected, the UK Newspapers Publishers Association issued a statement that severely criticises the BBC for launching free iPhone news applications that could undermine their own plans to generate revenue by doing the same.

In an email sent to Paidcontent, its director, David Newell, said that the BBC is looking to "muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers" who are trying to develop a sustainable way of deriving revenues from the mobile device market.

More importantly, Newell highlights the fact that the iPhone news apps could be more disruptive for the mobile news environment because the "market for iPhone news apps is a unique and narrow commercial space" where there is not much leeway.

He also called for the Corporation's Trust to intervene and block BBC's plans to go ahead with the launch of the two iPhone apps. The BBC however stresses the fact that it is merely reformatting existing content, not creating a new ecosystem.

Surprisingly, the NPA failed to point out that the BBC is planning to launch Blackberry and Android versions and will almost certainly follow up with a Symbian one to cover the remaining 47 percent of the market.

There are already a number of news publishers that are offering mobile applications for the iPhone including The Times, the Telegraph, Financial Times and Daily Star with the Daily Mail having announced that it will launch a free version soon.

Our Comments

Looked hard for the website for the NPA but couldn't find it. Surprising given that they are the trade association for British national newspapers and its role is to "represent, protect and promote the national newspaper industry". We tried to call their phone line since this morning to get some feedback but found out that it was constantly busy.

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