Last night saw the launch of a new recording of the Beach Boys‘ ‘God Only Knows’ commissioned by British broadcaster the BBC, in the same vein as its ‘Perfect Day’ promo from a few years ago. Stars including Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Stevie Wonder and Lorde all pop up in the video, with the song already available to buy or stream on the usual services through a partnership between all three major labels that’ll benefit the charity Children in Need. But what’s interesting for us is what all this is promoting: BBC Music, the Beeb’s attempt to bring its various music activities together under one banner. The BBC Music website has been revamped with more recommendations of shows, clips, tracks and artists, while the BBC’s Playlister streaming playlists service is expanding: it’s now available in the broadcaster’s iPlayer catch-up TV service, with fans able to add tracks to their stored playlists while watching shows in iPlayer’s desktop version. The BBC’s publicly-funded nature means it has to tread carefully when working with commercial digital music services – witness Playlister’s support for Spotify, Deezer, YouTube and iTunes – but the BBC Music launch shows it’s determined to carve out a role for itself in the digital world, capitalising on its TV and radio output.

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