Advanced Television

BBC local radio increasing support for new music

February 3, 2023

The BBC will continue to champion local music across England with fresh plans for BBC Introducing on local radio and BBC Sounds.

In the future, 20 new BBC Introducing programmes will broadcast across the BBC’s 39 local stations each week. For the first time ever these 20 shows will each broadcast twice a week (on Thursday and Saturday evenings) giving up-and-coming musicians a bigger platform and audience.

All 39 bases up and down the country will retain music expertise on site to support the production of the programmes and bring in new talent.

New bands and artists will also prominently feature in the new ‘Local to me’ section on BBC Sounds, so people can easily find the latest new music where they live on demand.

In addition, an ‘Introducing Artist of the Week’ will feature on all 39 local stations with featured tracks getting peak-time airplay to reach the biggest possible audiences.

Chris Burns, Controller of Local Audio Commissioning, commented: “The Introducing shows on local BBC stations play an important part in supporting new talent – and will continue to do so – but we know more people are turning to BBC Sounds to listen and we want to do more on there and in our peak daytime schedules to showcase new talent.”

As previously announced, new roles will be created across all 39 local bases to produce on demand audio for BBC Sounds. And to nurture the future generation of music journalists and broadcasters, BBC Music has 11 apprentices in post across England.

BBC Introducing started in 2007 and has famously helped kickstart the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and 2022 Mercury Prize winner Little Simz.

While local radio runs the weekly Introducing shows and their format, BBC Introducing is a huge operation managed by BBC Music and is completely dedicated to supporting new music. The Uploader tool allows artists everywhere to easily share tracks with the BBC to be selected for airplay. As well as broadcast opportunities on radio and TV, BBC Music supports new artists to perform at major festivals.

The changes to BBC Introducing are part of a wider plan to modernise the BBC’s local services to deliver greater value to communities across England. Overall investment in local services is being maintained but changes have to be made to adapt to audience needs and strike the best possible balance between live and on-demand services.

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