How the BBC Doubled Reader Engagement with Piano Analytics

Flashback to Piano Academy Paris in 2022, where the BBC’s Senior Principal Data Analyst, Iain Hoare, explained how Piano has helped its sports editorial and product teams optimize their content approach. This new approach played a significant role in allowing the BBC to increase traffic from unique visitors by 28% and more than double reader engagement on site.

Key takeaways:

In mid-2021, the BBC sports editorial team shifted its content format and needed a new metric to measure engagement with short-form posts. Moving from a traditional promo-based template to a rich stream of short-form content, they had to find a way to measure engagement without clicks. To do this, they developed the concept of ‘Dwell events,’ which count when content holds a user’s attention for 15 seconds or longer.

With ‘Dwell events’, the team was able to gain in-depth editorial and product insights. Editorial teams could identify the types of content that hold reader attention in terms of type, length, and topic. Product teams were able to see how users were navigating the experience and understand the effectiveness of the page layout, scroll depth, and pagination.

Piano’s advanced segmentation allows the BBC to rapidly identify which pieces of content are holding users' attention and provide more tailored content. By segmenting Dwell rates and read time, they are able to analyze each metric in an effort to increase overall site engagement. The two metrics don’t always perfectly align, and often it’s these very discrepancies that yield valuable insights about opportunities for improvement. 

Piano’s real-time dashboards provide instant feedback on post performance. Designed to rapidly identify and share information, Piano dashboards are used by analysts and journalists to self-serve insights and share them with teams across the organization. This helps them to continually optimize their content and update it on the fly. 

The BBC’s new stream has significantly boosted the number of readers on its sports pages and doubled the amount of time they spend there. Since its launch at the start of the football season in September 2022, they saw an increase of 28% average weekly unique visitors on the previous season, and an increase of average time spent per visit by 106%. 

Watch the full recording to find out how Piano Analytics’ advanced features provide the BBC with the insights to personalize and drive their content offering.