It’s great news that the BBC have announced their intention to play more music from British artists on Radio 1 and Radio 2.
According to the BBC, its current A playlist, which dictates the songs played most often during daytime listening hours, features nine international acts and six from the UK. Currently, less than half of the artists on the station’s top tier playlist are British.
Whilst diversity is, of course, important – and nobody wants to see popular international acts taken off playlists for no good reason – the BBC is the type of organisation that should promoting emerging British talent, especially when there’s so much of it about (just look at how many British acts played at Coachella last weekend, for example).
When you look at the quality of some of the music that is being produced in the UK at the moment, including really catchy tunes which just aren’t reaching enough people to hit the charts, this decision from the BBC can only be good for the music industry. And it is especially important when you think about the BBC’s reach, with around 10 million listeners each week.
And whilst this is great news, let’s also remember how good the BBC already is at promoting new talent. Whilst the A playlist may be dominated by established hit-makers like Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea (and why wouldn’t it be?), take a look further down the list and you’ll find plenty of emerging British talent like Frances and Mura Masa. Whilst its service licence requires at least 45% of daytime music to be “new” and 40% to be British, it has been comfortably exceeding these targets to date.