Entertainment & Arts

BBC Playlister service goes live

A beta version of the BBC Playlister, a new digital service that allows listeners to tag any piece of music they hear on the BBC and listen to it later, has gone live.

BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe claimed the project puts the BBC "at the heart of what is happening now".

"The whole essence of radio is to communicate: To be able to say 'I love this song'.

"Now we can really listen to what [the audience] is into and what they love."

The aim of Playlister is to give audiences an easy way to find out what music is being played on BBC Radio networks (and, later, on BBC TV shows) and to listen to it again.

From Wednesday, every song played on BBC radio will be made listed on the relevant programme website.

Anyone with a BBC account can click an "add this" button to add tracks to a personal playlist, and export them to a outside streaming service, such as YouTube, Deezer and Spotify, where they can be played back in full.

The homepage of the Playlister website also lists the BBC's most recently-played songs, as well as the most popular or most searched-for music.

Mark Friend, BBC controller for multi-platform radio and music, said the service was "easy to use [and] accessible for everyone", adding that it would "join up your BBC experiences with the music experiences you have on the rest of the internet".

Presenter playlists

The launch comes one year on from the launch of BBC iPlayer radio, which "brought together all of the music and the radio from the BBC into one online product... and transformed the BBC's role in digital music," he said.

Following the initial Playlister launch on Wednesday, further developments will include the launch of the same functions within the iPlayer radio app, broadening the Playlister to include number of TV programmes - such as Strictly Come Dancing and The Voice - and the introduction of presenter playlists.

Miley Cyrus's We Can't Stop was the most-added song immediately after the service launched

The presenter playlist will allow BBC DJs and presenters "to be able to curate their own chosen music and present that to the audience" within the Playlister function.

"It's about enhancing people's music experience," explained Mark Foster, of Deezer, one of the BBC Playlister's commercial partners.

"A service like ours has 25 million tracks... being able to use trusted curators, like Zane, is all about building trust, building confidence and helping people navigate through this fantastic selection of music that we have."

"The ability to discover music and follow people whose musical taste has really shaped yours is going to add a really level of texture to our services," echoed Chris Maples, of fellow commercial partner Spotify.

Playlister "will influence the way we make radio," said Lowe, adding, "the traffic goes both ways; communication between presenters and the audience becomes very direct.

"Playlister gives the BBC a chance to do that globally, which is a big part of what the BBC's future."

"People want to keep up-to-date," added Maples. "What's really cool about this is that I can take the perceived cool of Zane and add it to my playlist."

Statistics suggest that last year, more than 26 million people listened to music on the BBC radio network every single week and nearly 50 million watched some music from the BBC.

"Audiences want an easy way to find out and remember the music they hear on our programmes and to get good music recommendations," said Mr Friend

"Playlister presents a huge creative opportunity, not just to the audience, but also to us the programme-makers."

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