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BBC Radio 1 and 2 to playlist more UK music

By | Published on Thursday 21 April 2016


The BBC is to increase the amount of UK talent playlisted on Radios 1 and 2, despite both stations already exceeding current quotas.

This follows a review by the broadcaster, launched due to government criticism that the two stations are not distinct enough from commercial rivals or each other. This, the report found, is not true. In fact, on the first point, the review found that almost 90% of songs played by Radios 1 and 2 are not played by any other station.

The exact new quotas for UK music are still to be drawn up, but the report said that the rules must “ensure that Radio 1 and Radio 2 have a strong commitment to new and UK music, so that a strong proportion of the new music in daytime on Radio 1 and Radio 2 should be from the UK”.

On claims that the two stations are not distinct enough from each other, the report said that around 5% of the music played on one station does also appear on the other. But this crossover is generally down to certain songs appealing to a wide age range.

“Adele, for example, is 27, still within Radio 1’s target age range, but her songs have an almost universal appeal”, said the report. “Ultimately, however, the difference between the two stations is the next track after Adele: On Radio 1 it will often be a cutting edge track from a brand new band; on Radio 2 it is more likely to be a classic 60s or 70s song”.

This review comes ahead of a government white paper on the future of the BBC, due to be published next month, while the Corporation’s Royal Charter is up for renewal later this year, which will outline future funding for the broadcaster. As previously reported, there have been fears over what effect cutting back BBC music services would have on the UK industry, with numerous high profile musicians backing a campaign to protect them.