BBC.com has announced the launch of three new editions – India, Asia and Australia/ New Zealand. The editions will serve concentrated and localised BBC.com coverage, addressing the needs and interests of the readers in these regions.
To enrich the websites locally, BBC.com has recently created a new team in the Asia-Pacific to provide content which are more locally-generated. The team consists of the editorials staff and reporters from Singapore and renowned journalists from BBC International news service- Soutik Biswas and Damian Grammaticas. Soutik will also be supported by Rajini Vaidyanathan who will be providing content for the BBC.com/India page.
The region specific websites will provide breaking news, in-depth analysis, business bulletins, features and reports for each market. Readers can enjoy articles from News, Sports and Travel sections, updates on local weather, and increased features from local correspondents and video content.
Talking about the development, Chris Davies, Acting Managing Director, BBC.com said, “At present BBC.com is the leading international news website in Asia-Pacific with 11.1 million unique users per month. These editions are the response to overwhelming audience feedback and testing and will ensure even greater engagement from new and existing users.”
The India news sub-index will be launched on November 21, 2011 to ensure the highest quality service.
Talking about the launch of India webpage, a BBC.com spokesperson said, “India is equally important to us. But to ensure we offer users the best possible service, we need a little more development time.”
The India Homepage includes: News carousel, Spotlight module, travel module, weather module, all of which will be edited in real time. In addition to this, BBC.com is also expanding business module to include Asia Business and the indexes specific to Asia.
The sport module will highlight key sports for each region (e.g. cricket and football in India), tailored news site, news correspondent module to offer more local expertise from some of BBC’s highly-respected regional correspondents and increased video content.
1. News Section: A revitalised news homepage with increased editorial resources in-region and more content relevant to and from Asia.
2. Following user feedback, ‘South Asia’ merges with ‘Asia-Pacific’ to become ‘Asia’. Hence, it is now just titled ‘Asia’
3. Addition of two sub-indexes within ‘Asia’ for China and India: Under the ‘Asia’ page, there will be two new pages- one for China which has been launched and the other is for India (to be launched on the November 21, 2011).
4. Editorial Series: Launch of five editorial series that provide context and depth into the region.
The sub-Index for ‘India’ is part of the news page; this is in addition to the new BBC.com home page.
Explaining the edge that BBC.com’s region-specific websites may have over other existing news websites, the spokesperson mentioned that since its launch in 2007, BBC.com has worked hard to ensure it offers up-to-the minute international news, business, sports, weather, lifestyle and technology content and in-depth analysis. These new homepages (region-specific websites) are an evolution of the site and will further seek to provide a more immersive and personal 24/7 Asian perspective with more relevant, locally-curated high quality, and timely content in the Asia-pacific region. The new homepages will complement BBC World News continued editorial focus on the region.
As per comScore August 2011, Asia Pacific, 64% of the users who use BBC.com chose not to use other news websites. BBC.com also currently receives an average of 16.2 minutes of engagement a month, which equates 59% more than the key competitors. On an average, users view 186 pages a month, around 67% more pages than users of key competitors.
The spokesperson further added that over a quarter of the BBC’s global weekly audience of 225 million people (2011) come from Asia and the Pacific region. In the Asia-Pacific region, 61.4 million people access the BBC’s content on all platforms – online, TV, radio and wireless handheld devices. It is the most logical step as BBC.com plans to ensure it offers greater engagement and relevance for new and existing users.