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BBC’s new music discovery tool will offer roving playlists

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Garry Knight/Flickr

BBC has announced plans for new kind of streaming service that will make the 50,000 tracks it broadcasts each month easy to stream online. Similar to the storied broadcaster’s Playlister platform, the new service will offer curated playlists and other music discovery tools, while also linking with more traditional services — like Spotify, for instance — to source a wide collection of streaming music.

The BBC detailed the new service in its ‘British, Bold, Creative’ report.

“Through this digital music offer, we would reinvent our role as a trusted guide, in partnership with our audience and with the UK music industry,” said the report. “Together, the BBC and its audiences would curate music in new ways, enabling the discovery of more of all the music we play across the schedules of our many radio stations and TV channels.”

The BBC claims to run over 40,000 hours of music content yearly on its broadcasts. The new service is designed to push the local music scene — including lesser know acts — while capitalizing on the rising popularity of streaming.

“We would make this product a champion for new UK music, whether that is the latest unsigned talent from BBC Introducing or a classical performance of new music commissioned and broadcast by Radio 3,” explained the broadcaster. “We would also use it to increase our support for specialist genres, independent artists and labels—those who are less supported by the wider broadcast and digital market but for whom there are enthusiastic audiences.”

Alongside curated playlists, the new product will also feature recordings of “exclusive and unique live performances” from current programming like the acoustic Live Lounge and Radio 1’s music festival called Big Weekend. Past performers on these shows have included Coldplay, Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, and others.

The new service touts its ability to integrate with a variety of music streamers, as users will be able to “transfer playlists between digital music products, and access them after BBC availability has expired through third-party providers.” The broadcaster also notes that it plans to “license the product in a way that benefits artists fairly.”

BBC hasn’t set a release date for the proposed service, but notes that it may expand globally if it has success in the UK.

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