bbc sounds app availability outside of the UK

  • 11 January 2022
  • 8 replies

When will bbc sounds application be available in Sonos outside of the UK? The app is available worldwide for download so it should not be geo restricted. I know it’s available for UK users why can’t it be made available in North America? Is this something that is being looked into? 

8 replies

That’s a decision that needs to be taken by the BBC, and specifically their legal department. Sonos has no control over what regions are authorized. 

Absolutely correct Bruce. 

@Terry Brown . Have you ever tried using the BBC's iPlayer TV on demand service outside of the UK? Not a chance.

The bbc sounds app isn’t geo restricted like the iPlayer so it would seem the BBC does not object to radio content being consumed freely outside of the UK. I listen to the sounds app almost exclusively through my Sonos system using the airplay capability, but it would be nice to be able to run the sounds app natively from the Sonos app. 

It would indeed be nice, no objection. But again, it’s the BBC that controls that, Sonos has to do what the BBC tells them to do. And if there’s content on the BBC sounds side that isn’t cleared for international play by the BBC lawyers, it just won’t happen. 

This has to come from the BBC. There is no incentive of any kind for Sonos to impose such a restriction. 

The BBC dislikes its content playing through third party systems where that means it cannot collect the usage data it wants to. For example, it pulled BBC stations from TuneIn. I believe that Sonos has agreed to pass anonymised data back to the BBC. Perhaps there are legal or other restrictions on repatriating that data from other countries.

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At the end of this thread, another user in the USA changed their Sonos profile to the UK. They could then use BBC Sounds in Sonos


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Do you plan on paying for a UK TV license, um licence, which is how the BBC is funded? That, and lawyers, is why it is geo-restricted.

I’d imagine there’s also some licensing restrictions involved, too...or maybe that’s my personal bias, having had to deal with dozens of content creator’s lawyers in the past for international, versus US distribution rights. It all gets pretty complicated pretty quickly, for sure.