UK Music Welcomes CMS Committee’s Backing On Protecting Public Service Broadcasting Music Commitment

UK Music's Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has welcomed the CMS Committee's call to the Government to protect public service broadcasters requirement to provide music content.

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22.09.203: UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl has welcomed the CMS Committee’s call to the Government to protect public service broadcasters’ requirement to provide music content.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee report on the Government’s draft media bill calls for an amendment that would see obligations to public service broadcasters to provide music content remain, alongside science and international matters content, which are also at risk.

The original bill is aimed at updating legislation on public service broadcasters like BBC, ITV, STV, Channel 4, S4C and Channel 5 and could see their requirement to provide music content removed.

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair of the CMS Committee, said:

“Our Public Service Broadcasters play a central role in enriching our culture, society and democracy and this Bill is critical to ensuring they continue to thrive. With significant legislation like this coming along only once in a generation, it is vital the Government gets it right. Our proposed changes to the Bill will ensure it is proportionate, future-proofed in a world of shifting viewing habits and rapid technological change, and most importantly in the very best interests of viewers and listeners. It is vital that the Government prioritises the legislation in the upcoming fourth session of this Parliament”.

UK Music’s submitted to the CMS Committee highlighting the issue, which can be read here.

UK Music’s Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl said: 

“UK Music has been arguing that the government should not dilute duties on public service broadcasters to provide musical content. It’s great to see the Commons CMS Committee echo these concerns in its recommendation on the Draft Media Bill.”

In UK Music’s recent Manifesto for Music, the important role that public service broadcasters play in support the UK music industry was highlighted, as they provide a a platform for artists, musicians, songwriters, producers, and composers, enabling them to reach a wider audience and
gain exposure.

The BBC and music enjoy a particularly strong relationship. The BBC is the single largest employer of musicians in the UK, employing more than 400 contract musicians and many hundreds more freelancers. Data from PPL shows that 75% of all tracks broadcast on the full range of BBC radio services were not broadcast on commercial radio and according to an Ivors Academy survey of previous winners and nominees of their composer awards, 62% of respondents had received a commission from the BBC.

The manifesto calls on the Government to:

  • Guarantee that the BBC maintains a robust and sustainable funding model through the licence fee. With the next BBC Charter coming into force in 2027, it is essential to secure a funding framework that enables the BBC to continue providing high-quality content and services to the public. Ensuring a stable funding model will help maintain the BBC’s invaluable contributions to the music industry and the overall cultural
    landscape of the UK.
  • Ensure music remains at the heart of the public service broadcasting remit. The draft Media Bill removed specific mentions of music and cultural activities from the public service broadcasting remit. The current remit, enforced by OFCOM, ensures that the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 must broadcast musical content. These legislative protections must remain to avoid diluting the cultural content offered on public service broadcasters.
  • Uphold the importance of the BBC in providing a diversity of music services in the next Charter. This includes supporting musical talent and investing in the future. For example, the BBC’s performing groups showcase the UK’s cultural heritage nationally and globally and represent less than 1% of the corporation’s budget. Local BBC Introducing shows are vital for supporting upcoming talent. In 2020, nearly 2,000 emerging musicians received their first royalties because of a BBC play; meanwhile, seven of the top 10 best-selling songs of 2022 came from artists championed by their local BBC Introducing show.

Read the CMS Committee report here.

Read UK Music’s Manifesto for Music here.

Read the Government’s draft media bill here.

Read UK Music’s submission to the CMS Committee inquiry here.

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