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Delivering a modernised music portal for BBC Music

The Challenge

The BBC wanted to modernise its high-profile music portal to offer new features and capabilities. This meant a major technology overhaul.

BBC Music is the gateway to the goldmine of content from the broadcaster’s television, radio and online shows. It’s a popular service that helps producers and the general public quickly and easily find material to suit their programmes or tastes.

The BBC was keen to add pioneering new capabilities to the service, which meant refreshing large areas to use modern technologies. It needed a partner to deliver this phased, high-profile and complex transformation, then support and continually enhance core parts of its underpinnings.

Our Solution

We delivered a phased modernisation of BBC Music and now provide ongoing support and enhancements to key parts of the service.

We supported the BBC as it drew up its transformation roadmap for BBC Music. This included providing technology expertise to ensure the modernisation projects aligned with the corporation’s priorities and planned infrastructure evolution. We then took responsibility for delivering large parts of the transformation, working closely with the BBC throughout.

We started by rebuilding the public-facing BBC Music web app to move it off end-of-life hosting and overhaul the user interface design. The next step was to combine two key editorial tools and their database into a single application. We also enhanced the data-handling systems, including a wholesale database migration to a new platform. All of this has markedly improved the user experience (UX) and reduced maintenance overheads.

Having upgraded the core of the service to modern technologies, our attention turned to delivering additional capabilities the BBC wants. This ongoing work sits alongside our second-line support for a significant part of BBC Music.

The Result

A transformed and ever-improving platform that makes it easier and faster for producers and the general public to enjoy music on the BBC.

The benefits of Softwire’s work have been felt by everyone who uses BBC Music, and feedback has been good. The UX is hugely improved, thanks to new interface designs and much faster performance. Data quality and data-handling are better across the platform, resulting in superior search results and recommendations. And for the BBC’s internal teams, the new system has streamlined the way they work.

Crucially, the BBC now has a future-proof platform, supported by a delivery partner that enables it to continually roll out new features and capabilities. This ensures its producers and the wider public can continue to enjoy the very best experiences as they explore the BBC’s world of music.

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The project
High-Profile modernisation and support for key parts of the BBC Music service.

The results
Future-proof system transforms the user experience for BBC producers and the general public.