Music and Public Service Broadcasting

The UK’s network of public service broadcasters play a vital role in supporting the success of the music industry.

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The UK’s network of public service broadcasters play a vital role in supporting the success of the music industry.

They provide 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 corporation gives important exposure to upcoming talent and supports music exports through the global reach of its radio stations and licensing TV broadcast content to other territories.

It also provides the broadest and most distinctive music offer of any UK media outlet. Data from PPL shows that 75% of all tracks broadcast on the full range of BBC radio services were not broadcast on commercial radio.

The BBC is the single largest employer of musicians in the UK, employing more than 400 contract musicians and many hundreds more freelancers.

It is an important commissioner for media composers and is also the UK’s largest commissioner of new classical music.

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.

However, a mixture of cuts and uncertainty around future funding threaten the music provision offered by our public service broadcasters. Musical content represents a vital cultural expression and requires both protection and investment to ensure it continues to thrive.

How Can Public Service Broadcasting Be Supported?

The Government should:

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.

If you would like to read more about our asks to Government read our Manifesto for Music.


#LetItBeeb was a campaign organised by UK Music to unite music fans, artists, songwriters, composers and performers of all ages, genres and locations in support of the vital and diverse music services the BBC provides.

The Government published a Green Paper on the future of the BBC questioning the distinctiveness of what is being offered by the broadcaster.

UK Music and its members recognised that the BBC had made steps in recent years to make music a core activity of its broadcast services, alongside news and sport and believed that the corporation’s music services should be protected and expanded and not fall victim to any financial cuts or organisational restructuring as part of the review of the BBC Charter.

UK Music felt without these services there would be diminished music output which would have far reaching cultural and economic implications for the UK.

BBC Music offers great diversity in its music coverage and reach. Radio1, Radio2, Radio3, 6Music, 1Xtra, The Proms, BBC Introducing, Later, BBC Asian Network, Desert Island Discs, Glastonbury,  music driven broadcast programming, documentaries and other BBC output support the entire UK music ecosystem.

BBC Music also provides unparalleled variety to its consumers – whether your interest is in new music, folk, classical, pop, jazz, electronica or grime.

The music community supported the BBC and the vital role it plays in supporting the entire music infrastructure in the UK.

A petition to the UK Government was organised: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106091