Is the BBC developing an iPlayer-style music service?

3 Oct 2012

Rumours are circulating today that the BBC is working on developing its own online music service, which could be the musical equivalent of the iPlayer, its web-based TV catch-up service.

The rumours stem from a report from The Telegraph, which names the service as Playlister and claims it could launch late this year or in early 2013.

There’s little detail available just yet, but Music Ally reports that the BBC is holding an iPlayer press event on 8 October so we’re expecting more information to surface then.

Possibilities include a service that gives TV licence-payers in the UK access to the BBC’s music archive for free, much like the iPlayer gives access to its TV programmes. Securing the rights to stream music is difficult and expensive, though, and The Telegraph also hints at possible partnerships with Spotify, Deezer and iTunes, who have already obtained distribution deals with music labels.

Could this mean Playlister becomes a part of one of these services, streaming BBC radio playlists and live recordings? We’ll just have to wait and see, as the only official word on this from a BBC spokesperson is: “The BBC is regularly in conversation with digital music providers about how we strengthen radio’s position as the No 1 place for discovering music in the UK.”

Listening to music image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.