The UK music industry has expressed concerns about the BBC’s proposed new music streaming service, arguing that it is not “viable” to offer it without paying royalties.
Tony Hall, the BBC director general, unveiled plans for a new music service that would make about 50,000 tracks a month available for streaming for a limited period after they are played on BBC radio and TV stations as part of a strategy document on the corporation’s future on Monday.
“Audiences would be able to access this music via playlists curated by the BBC, and they would be able to build their own playlists based on music they hear and love on the BBC,” the corporation said.
The BBC said the offering, which will build on its existing music curation and recommendation service BBC Playlister, has developed the proposal with the music industry.
However Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of UK music trade body the BPI, warned that if the BBC tried to avoid paying royalties the service would not be “viable”.
“The starting point for some of the BBC’s suggestions around how such a service might work involved launching such a service but paying no money for it – and I just don’t think that’s viable,” said Taylor, speaking at the BPI’s annual meeting, as reported by Musically. “If the BBC is going to launch such a service, then it needs to bring the industry with it. There will have to be a sensible deal behind it if it going to happen.”
Taylor said he understood the BBC’s desire to launch new music offerings in the face of the popularity of services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
“The BBC is concerned that it may lose its audience share to the new additional services, particularly the on-demand ones,” he said. “We understand why the BBC would want to be where the audience is, and make sure it is as relevant as possible – particularly to younger music fans.”
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