The BBC is getting into the music streaming space – albeit in a roundabout way – with the launch Wednesday of the beta version of Playlister.
Playlister lets anyone listening to music across the BBC’s vast network of radio stations, TV channels, and websites create personal playlists that can be exported to music streaming services Spotify and Deezer, as well as YouTube.
Music fans can also discover new music through hand-picked recommendations from their favourite DJs and presenters.
Playlister currently exists as a browser-based service – this includes a mobile Web app – and is free to use. After a super-quick sign-up procedure that requires only a username and password, you can dive straight in with the discover option.
Here you’ll find a list of tracks recently played across the BBC’s network. A single click gives you a short preview of the track; if you like it, tag it by clicking on Playlister’s music-note icon and it’ll be added to your playlist.
Alternatively, most popular shows what’s hot among Playlister users, while presenter playlists give BBC DJs and show hosts the chance to share their favorite tracks with users.
Additionally, as you explore BBC websites outside of the Playlister site, you’ll see the music-note icon appear on various music-related pages. Again, simply click on the music note to add the track to your playlist.
When you’re done with your selections – you can add or delete at any time – export it to either Spotify, Deezer (not available in the US), or YouTube, where you can listen to the songs in their entirety.
There may be some occasions where the streaming service doesn’t have your chosen track on its servers, in which case there’ll be a gap in your playlist, but that isn’t expected to happen too often.
The new service is likely to be integrated into the BBC’s iPlayer radio app in the coming months.
If you’re a music fan and already a heavy user of BBC TV, radio, and Web network, then Playlister may well become a handy tool for discovering new music. And if you follow a particular DJ, the presenter playlists option could prove particularly useful.
“Each year, the BBC showcases more music than any other broadcaster across its radio, TV and online services,” the British broadcasting service said on its website. “However, once broadcast, it can be difficult for audiences to find the music they hear on the BBC again. The first of its kind, BBC Playlister changes that for ever.”
BBC director-general Tony Hall called the new service “a wonderful innovation”.
“We have a proud musical heritage that dates back to the very beginning of the BBC’s history, and over the years we have found many new ways of bringing fantastic music to our viewers and listeners,” Hall said. “Working with partners such as Spotify, YouTube and Deezer, we will once again transform our audiences’ relationship with music and the BBC.”