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September 8, 2015

BBC to launch music streaming amidst digital revamp

BBC will offer up its exclusive content online.

By Alexander Sword

The BBC is proposing launching a music streaming service as part of its charter review.

The corporation said in its report accompanying the review that it had developed a digital music proposal to build on the existing Playlister service.

The BBC would make the 50,000 tracks it broadcasts each month available to listen to online.

The service would include exclusive live performances featured on BBC’s Live Lounge or at events such as Radio 1’s Big Weekend; it would also have a particular mission to promote new music.

The BBC would curate playlists for audiences, who could also build their own playlists. The service would also be fully open for integration with other digital portals.

If the service goes ahead, the BBC will join a whole host of giants that have entered the music streaming market in recent months, such as Amazon and Apple.

As well as the music service, the BBC proposed a new children’s version of iPlayer called iPlay, opening the BBC iPlayer to showcase content from other companies and, potentially controversially, extending the World Service to areas where there is a "democratic deficit in impartial news."

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The broadcaster also announced "a transition from rolling news to streaming news" with the launch of BBC Newstream, an offering tailored to mobiles serving up video, audio, graphics and text live from BBC News.

News of the revamp comes in the wake of significant cuts to the BBC’s budget in George Osborne’s recent ‘Emergency Budget’. The BBC will now have to carry the cost of providing free television licences for those over 75, previously funded by the taxpayer, that will cost it £750m by 2020.

"We are going to save more than required by the Budget agreement, to innovate and make programmes for the whole country," the report added.

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