As the biggest player in British broadcasting - for many years the only one - the BBC has an unrivalled music library which it intends to share with licence fee payers on a new music streaming service.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that a project called Playlister is likely to be launched at an iPlayer press call on Monday, October 8.
Anyone who’s gnashed their teeth at the wiping of classic TV shows from the BBC archive has the corporation’s origins as a world broadcaster to thank for this development. Faced with reaching an empire across myriad time zones, the Beeb began recording its radio shows way back in 1932. Sadly, as tape was introduced in the 1950s some old radio recordings were recorded over to save cash.
The main obstacle to such a service would be copyright issues. The BBC is said to be in talks with the biggest players in the digital music market – Spotify, Deezer and iTunes – about their deals.
And, the music business seems to be learning to live with the new online world. This week, Mumford and Sons broke 2012 sales records for their new album Babel. They did this despite not following the usual industry protocol of holding tracks back from streaming services as the record launched.
The Playlister service should be free to UK licence fee payers and without adverts too.
With everything from historic wartime speeches by Winston Churchill to some of The Beatles’ best work lurking in a massively diverse BBC sound archive, Playlister shouldn’t have any problem finding listeners.
The corporation itself has had nothing to say on the matter so any reported details are informed speculation at best. However, the BBC has made a massive success of the iPlayer, which saw peaks of 51m weekly views during the Olympic Games, and their director of audio and music Tim Davie is said to be keen to secure a major legacy from his time in post.
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