BBC Music

Last updated
BBC Music
Industry Mass media
Area served
Key people
Bob Shennan (Director of Music)
ServicesRadio and TV broadcasting, online services, event organisation
Parent British Broadcasting Corporation

BBC Music is responsible for the music played across the BBC. [1] The current director of music is Bob Shennan, who is also the controller of BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music, and the BBC Asian Network. [2]


Officially it is a part of the BBC's Radio operational division and is directly responsible to Helen Boaden (director of Radio); however, its remit also includes music used in television and online services. It was established in its current form in 2014; however, the BBC had already been using the BBC Music brand to refer to its online music content and some live events beforehand, including a now defunct record label.


BBC Music had its official launch at 20:00 on 7 October 2014, with a simulcast of a specially-commissioned cover of the Beach Boys' 1966 song "God Only Knows". [3] Produced by Ethan Johns, it featured a supergroup of singers such as Chris Martin (of Coldplay), Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters), Elton John, Pharrell Williams, One Direction, and Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys) accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra. [4]


BBC Music is responsible for the music played across the BBC. It has direct editorial control of the music content of the BBC's six national music radio stations Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 3, 6 Music, and the BBC Asian Network, as well as organising live music events for each of the stations. These include Radio 1's Big Weekend, Live in Hyde Park and In Concert for Radio 2, the BBC Proms (including the various "Proms in the Park" events), and the BBC 6 Music festival.

Many of the BBC televisual music programmes and documentaries are now co-produced with BBC Music, with a BBC Music ident often being played between the regular channel ident and the start of the programme. It will also coordinate the BBC's coverage of other live music events such as the Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and Celtic Connections amongst others.

It is responsible for the BBC's online music database, collating every music track played across the BBC's national radio stations and a larger amount of the music played on the BBC's UK television channels. This includes looking after My Tracks, formerly BBC Playlister, an interactive, personalisable music service that allows users to create playlists of music that have been played across the BBC using existing online platforms Deezer, YouTube and Spotify. [5] It also features playlists created by BBC radio DJs and presenters such as Jo Whiley, Greg James, Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe, and Fearne Cotton.

Additionally, it coordinates the production of the BBC Music Awards and also oversees BBC Introducing, an initiative to get less well-known and unsigned artists played on local and national radio.

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  1. "BBC - BBC Music - Media centre". BBC Media Centre. 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. "BBC - Bob Shennan, Director, Music - Inside the BBC". Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. "BBC - BBC Music launches with God Only Knows - Media centre". BBC Media Centre. 7 October 2014. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  4. "BBC - The Artists - Media centre". BBC Media Centre. 7 October 2014. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  5. "BBC Launches Playlister, A Social Music Service With Spotify, YouTube And Deezer To Tag Tracks Heard On BBC – TechCrunch". Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.