The BBC Trust, which governs the BBC on behalf of the public, says the BBC's plans to launch its own smartphone applications don't require a Public Value Test. A PVT is required when the BBC wants to launch a new service or make significant changes to existing BBC Public Services. As a result, the apps – which had been delayed - are being launched today.
Plans to deliver content via dedicated apps were announced in February. After concern was expressed from within the mobile industry, the BBC Trust said it would assess the plans and asked the BBC to postpone the launch.
Diane Coyle, who led the review for the BBC Trust, said "The Apps market is rapidly taking off as more people choose to get their news, sport and other online content while they're on the move. The Trust has a duty to represent the interests of licence fee payers, who will increasingly expect to access BBC content in this way, but also to listen to concerns raised by industry. In this case we have concluded that while the Apps market is developing quickly and we will monitor the launch of BBC Apps, a PVT is not required."
BBC News and Sport apps will be in the iTunes app store from today. Availability on other platforms will follow later this year.