For all the talk about when or whether streaming will kill radio, in many parts of the world radio continues to play a powerful role for the music industry – not just for massive-airplay artists, but for emerging acts too.
One example is BBC Music Introducing in the UK, which spans a network of shows on local radio stations devoted to playing tracks by young/new unsigned artists. George Ezra, Ed Sheeran, Little Simz, Becky Hill and Ellie Goulding are among its success stories.
However, this month there has been consternation at news of a potential shakeup for the network which may see some of those shows merged or axed altogether.
Now a group of industry bodies including AIM, FAC, MMF and the Music Venue Trust have published an open letter to the BBC’s chairman expressing their concerns at the reports. “BBC Music Introducing is a fundamental cog in the machine of the grassroots sector,” they said. “This work is not done by any other broadcaster; it is unique. Its reach extends to every corner of the country and it is especially important in left behind communities, where access to music and music opportunities is already incredibly challenging.”
There’s a bigger picture here of heavy pressure on the BBC from an unsympathetic government to make cuts across its output. Music is one of the sectors at risk, but the industry bodies are keen not to let that happen without a fight.
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