Could the BBC be planning its own on-demand digital music service? Hmm, already sounds controversial, in a “how dare the BBC use licence fee money to compete in the non-broadcast arena?” kind of way. But the Telegraph reports that a new music service, called Playlister, is in development.
However, it seems unlikely that the Beeb would take on Spotify et al directly, rather the service would make music recordings from the BBC archives available on demand, probably via a platform akin to the Corporation’s iPlayer.
And, indeed, the Telegraph reckons the Beeb could work with existing players in the digital music space, like Spotify and Deezer, to reduce the licensing costs of launching such a venture – ie make the content available via other digital music platforms, utilising said platforms’ existing licenses with labels and music publishers.
The project is reportedly being spearheaded by the boss of BBC Audio & Music Tim Davie, who “regards it as the project that will be his biggest legacy at the corporation”. Many expect Davie to be moved from his top job at BBC Radio to run the Corporation’s commercial division BBC Worldwide, where he could negotiate the commercial partnerships that might be required to make this new venture happen.
The Telegraph reckons The Playlister could be launched within the year, or in early 2013.