Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most common questions asked about BBC Music Introducing
Last updated: 03.08.20
What is BBC Music Introducing?
BBC Music Introducing was created in 2007 to support unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians. We've brought all of the BBC's supporters of unsigned music together under one brand to nurture and give great exposure to the freshest artists across the UK. Your music could be played on our family of local and national BBC Radio shows, broadcast throughout the UK every week.
Every summer, you'll find the BBC Music Introducing stage at major events and festivals like Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, and Radio 1's Big Weekend. For those acts that are ready, we also host stages at international events like SXSW in Austin, Texas. We also invite the very best new acts to record sessions at the BBC's world famous Maida Vale studios, all of which are filmed or recorded and made available online.
Is there a limit to the number of tracks I can upload?
As of May 2017, the upload limit was updated to 2 tracks every 30 days. This takes effect from the date you upload your first track.
Our message to you is clear; we want you to send us your very best tracks. The Uploader is your window of opportunity to really impress our producers and it shouldn't be wasted. Before the Uploader existed one of the most common routes for unsigned artists to get their music heard was by posting a demo CD to a DJ. While the technology has changed, the importance of making a great first impression hasn't, so it's vital you put forward your best work, like you would on a demo CD.
How are artists selected to play on the BBC Music Introducing stage at festivals?
The BBC Music Introducing Stages at festivals throughout the UK are there to give aspiring new bands and artists the opportunity to play at some of the biggest festivals in the UK and sometimes internationally!
Not only might you get the opportunity to play the festival but we also aim to record and film your set for broadcast across BBC Radio, online and TV.
The line-ups are chosen via suggestions from all of the BBC Music Introducing shows across the BBC. These suggestions represent who they see as the hottest artists from their patch at that time and is normally representative of the tracks they are playing on their shows, many of which are submissions that have been uploaded via the Introducing Uploader. So if you haven't already uploaded your tracks to BBC Music Introducing, do it now! We treat each stage individually, so producers and presenters can tailor their suggestions depending on the festival.
We then get a panel to listen to all the suggestions and decide upon the final line-up. These vary from festival to festival but previous panel members include: Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Emily Eavis, Gary Lightbody, Head of Music at Radio 1, Head of BBC Music Introducing. They all listen, send us their top rated artists and from this we get our final line-up. At some events, we also take suggestions for artists from the festival promoters and local organisations.
So if you do make to one of our stages you can see that before even playing you will have hit the radar of some pretty big names in the industry.
How are artists chosen for the BBC Music Introducing slot on the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Playlists?
Since January 2011, there has been a weekly BBC Music Introducing spot on Radio 1's daytime playlist. You can see the current selections on the Radio 1 website. Former Head of Music George Ergatoudis has written in detail about this opportunity on the BBC Radio blog.
The process for playlist selection works in a similar way to our festival stage process. Any songs uploaded to us by UK artists or bands are eligible. Tracks uploaded are first listened to by presenters and producers working on your local BBC Music Introducing radio show. Local teams make recommendations to a panel inside Radio 1 and 1Xtra that consists of DJs like Huw Stephens, producers and members of the networks' Playlist teams. Their shortlist is then passed onto the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Music Teams who make the final decision as to who makes it onto the playlist.
What is the Uploader?
The Uploader is a tool that allows you to upload your own tracks to your BBC Music Introducing profile, and in turn distributes your music to BBC radio shows for producers to listen to.
How can I use the Uploader?
In order to upload tracks, you need to do the following:
1. Sign In with or Register for a BBC ID account
2. Click on Register, to create your BBC Music Introducing Profile
3. Fill out all of the fields
4. Upload your track(s)
Once your Profile has been set up, you won't need to do it again. You can update your Profile at any time and your Profile is where all of the information regarding your uploaded tracks is kept.
Artists under the age of 16
If you are under the age of 16 you must not upload any recordings - a guardian, family member, teacher or carer must upload on behalf of anyone under 16 and therefore they will need to create an account and use their email address for all communication between BBC Music Introducing and the account holder. They will also need to agree to the Terms and Conditions of the BBC Music Introducing Uploader as the “artist” on your behalf and to have the rights and permissions in place to agree to the terms and conditions set out.
When I submit music to you, does that mean you own it?
Will my music be used on podcasts and music mixes in BBC Sounds?
If your track is played by your local BBC Music Introducing show, it could be included in one of our free podcasts. These include music and features from various artists, and are available during a set period of time (typically 30 days) to download and listen to online. A great example of this is Tom Robinson’s BBC Music Introducing Mixtape which makes every track featured in his radio show available together in one mixtape as a free podcast from BBC Sounds.
Your track could also potentially be selected to feature in a music mix on BBC Sounds, such as our weekly mix The Hot List.
If you are invited to record a session with your local BBC Music Introducing show, then that will also be made available on the BBC Music Introducing website for people to watch.
Do I have to live in the UK?
Yes. You can only upload music to BBC Music Introducing if you're based in the UK. You'll need to enter a valid UK postcode, so that we can work out which Introducing radio show is closest to you. When you create a Profile you'll be asked to enter details about your connection to the local area. The information you put here is useful for our local producers.
Can I upload tracks as a songwriter?
We welcome uploads from songwriters. Feel free to upload under a single account - just make sure that it's clear in your Profile that you are uploading as a songwriter and that it's clear on the individual tracks you upload who is performing.
Can I create a Profile as a label and upload tracks from multiple artists?
Generally we discourage labels creating Profiles on the Uploader as themselves. The system is designed to deal with artists not labels - so each artist should have a unique Profile.
I am unable to sign into my account - it says the email address is not recognised. What can I do?
If you can't remember the username or password which you set up to log into your BBC ID membership, please read this advice from BBC ID. Please note that BBC ID is used to log into the Introducing Uploader (as well as other BBC online services such as iPlayer). It's possible that the email address associated with the BBC ID account you use to log into the Uploader is different to the one on which you receive email notifications about Introducing.
Our first suggestion would be to try using any possible alternative email addresses to log in.
If this does not help, the best course of action is to create a new Introducing profile. When you have done this let us know and we can merge your old and new accounts so that your tracks are all in one place.
I try to access my Introducing profile but it prompts me to create a new profile. What's happening?
In order to access your Introducing profile you need to log in to the BBC ID associated with your profile.
When you visit this link, if it prompts you to create a new profile then it likely that you are already signed into a BBC ID that is not already associated with an Introducing profile.
In this case, try logging out of BBC ID. You can do this by going to this link and clicking 'Sign out' in the top right corner of the page.
Then you can try logging in with the correct credentials to access your Introducing profile.
If this does not help, the best course of action is to create a new Introducing profile. When you have done this let us know and we can merge your old and new accounts so that your tracks are all in one place.
What information do I need to provide and why?
When you create your Introducing artist Profile, there are a number of fields for you to fill out. This is your opportunity to tell us about yourself, your band and your music. You can tell us as much or as little as you like, but bear in mind it helps our DJs and producers get a feel for who you are and what you're all about. Some of the information you provide might therefore be read out on air if you get broadcast, so make sure it's up to date.
The Artist Name, Postcode, Genre and contact email address fields are mandatory, but all others are optional.
If you have one, telling us your PRS for Music ID number (also known as a CAE number) will make it simpler for us to tell PRS for Music what royalties you are owed if your tracks get broadcast. For the same reason, we request the name of the songwriter(s) for every track you upload. Just to be clear, you don't need to be a member of PRS for Music to upload your music to BBC Music Introducing. It won't affect your chances of being played if you're not. Other services are available that can help you collect any royalties you are owed.
Remember you can sign back in and edit your Profile any time you like to update or remove the information you've provided.
If I upload an artist image, where is it used?
Your image will not automatically be published anywhere public-facing when you first upload it to your Profile. It could however potentially be used by one of our producers on the BBC website or on one of our social accounts to promote you as an artist or Introducing as a brand.
Do I need a Musicbrainz ID?
Musicbrainz is a repository of music data that covers artists, works, releases and recordings. Having a Musicbrainz ID is not essential for artists on the Uploader but it can be helpful in maintaining good online meta-data.
How do I delete my Profile from the system completely?
You can delete your Profile from within the Uploader; use the button marked 'Delete' in the Profile Overview. Please read the BBC Music Introducing Privacy Notice for details on how your personal data is handled.
Remember, the email address you use to sign in to BBC Online will still be registered separately, unless you choose to also delete your BBC ID membership account. You can do that here.
Can I upload a cover or remix?
Generally, no. We can only consider original material for airplay on BBC Music Introducing shows or podcasts, so please don't upload covers of songs written by someone else. We accept mixes from accounts that are specified as 'DJ/Producer'.
If you've remixed a song, you can only upload it to us if you have obtained all the correct clearances and permissions for any samples you have used from the original writer(s) and copyright holder(s).
Can I upload songs which feature swearing?
Our radio shows cannot play tracks that feature explicit language. If you have clean radio edits that you can upload instead, please do.
Is there a limit to the size of file I can upload?
Yes - each file you upload must be less than 100MB in size.
What file types can I upload?
The Uploader can accept WAV and MP3 files up to 100MB in size.
Remember, your music may end up being played on a BBC radio show, so try to send the highest quality files you can. The bit rate of your tracks should be 192kbps stereo or higher - ideally, 320kbps - at Constant Bit Rate (CBR).
Can I edit or delete my uploaded tracks?
Yes. For any tracks you have already uploaded, you can edit the title and songwriter names. If you uploaded the wrong MP3 file, you can delete the track completely from your profile.
Can I send my tracks to a different radio show?
If you move where you are geographically based you can update your postcode in the Profile Overview. Once you have done this any new tracks you upload will automatically go to the local radio programme associated with your new postcode.
Depending on what genre you select in your Profile Overview before you upload a track, it will potentially also automatically be sent to one or more national radio shows. This happens for some of the more specialist genres and helps ensure your tracks get to the right people. Other than this, there is no way for you to manually select which national shows receive your tracks.
Can I change my genre?
Yes you can change the genre. This is done in the Profile Overview section.
Any tracks you upload are assigned the genre you have set at the time you upload them. Once you've uploaded a track you can't change the genre it's assigned to. Changing the genre in your Profile Overview will only affect future uploads.
I've reuploaded a track but it still says it's assigned to my old local radio show. What's going on?
The Uploader has a system in place to automatically recognise tracks that have previously been uploaded. If you reupload the same track it will inherit all the data that it previously had, including the amount of plays and broadcasts, plus the local radio show it was assigned to when it was originally uploaded.
The reason this system exists is to prevent users from constantly deleting and reuploading their tracks in order to try and artificially increase their chances of getting more plays.
It says my track is a duplicate - what does that mean?
If an exact match of the file you're trying to upload already exists in our system, you'll see a warning message and you will not be able to upload the track again. First check your Profile page to see which tracks you've uploaded already - for each track, you can see the filename of the MP3 you submitted next to the green 'Uploaded' icon.
If the track you're trying to submit is deemed to be a duplicate, but you don't see it listed on your Profile page, it's possible you uploaded it previously when signed into a different Profile (using another BBC ID membership).
Can I create more than one profile for the same artist?
No, you should not create duplicate Profiles unless specifically advised to by us. Please note that duplicate profiles are regularly merged together by our teams. Merging means that all the tracks are collected together under one profile (usually the one that's been accessed most recently).
Can I get feedback on my tracks?
Unfortunately we cannot provide individual feedback on the tracks you upload.
Should I upload my track before its release date?
Bear in mind that it's possible a radio producer may listen and choose to broadcast your track before your planned release date. For this reason we recommend you only upload a track if you are happy for it to be played out on the radio from the point at which you upload.
Can I send you my tracks on YouTube / Soundcloud / Spotify / etc.?
Please note we will only consider tracks uploaded to the Introducing Uploader. You are free to add a link in your Profile Overview to other places where your music is hosted if you so wish.
Where can I see the tracks I've uploaded and their status?
All of your uploaded tracks can be found in your Introducing profile page. Just make sure you are signed in with your BBC ID.
Each of your uploaded tracks will be displayed, and if you select one you will be able to see a history of events - such as when a producer has listened to your track or whether it gets broadcast on the radio.
I am trying to upload a track but it keeps failing – what can I do?
- Is the file you’re trying to upload bigger than 100MB? Our system will not be able to handle it. You need to try uploading a smaller file.
- Are you trying to upload a file that is not a WAV or MP3? Our system cannot handle any other file types.
- Is the file an MP3 with an image embedded in the metadata? Currently our system cannot handle MP3s with more than 4MB of metadata. Try uploading a version of the MP3 without an image attached to it.
If none of the above applies, when you get in contact with us, please do the following:
- provide your artist name
- tell us what operating system you are using
- tell us what browser (and version) you are using
- confirm the file size of your audio file
- try uploading one of the files and tell us the time of the attempt
- send us a screenshot of the site when the upload fails
What happens when I submit my music?
Your tracks will automatically be assigned to your nearest BBC Music Introducing show based on the postcode you entered. If your type of music falls into one of our more niche genres then we may also send it to a show that specialises in that type of music.
Who will listen to the music I upload?
Presenters, producers and assistants working on our local and national radio shows around the country all have access to listen to the music you upload via a system at our end.
Your tracks are most likely to be listened to first by someone working on your local BBC Music Introducing show or the national programme you chose to target when you registered. As soon as this happens, we'll send you an email to let you know.
We also have a special team of music-loving staff around the BBC who have volunteered to help listen to the tracks uploaded every week. Members of this panel don't work directly on a show, but it's their job to spot the very best tunes and flag them up immediately to radio show teams for airplay consideration. The decision to broadcast your song still rests with show teams. If your track is listened to first by a member of this panel, we'll let you know via email.
How long does it take to listen to my music?
Because of the volume of music submitted through the Uploader we advise artists that it can sometimes take up to 6 months (and occasionally longer) to get heard. The local Introducing radio show assigned to your Profile listen to as much new music as they can.
My track has been listened to - does this mean it will be broadcast?
No. A listen doesn't guarantee your track will be played on air. However, if our producers do decide to broadcast your music, you'll be notified.
There isn't a set amount of time to expect between a track being listened to and then being broadcast. However, if it's been months since your track was listened to, it's quite likely that it hasn't been chosen to be broadcast.
Will I be told if my music is played on air?
Yes, providing you have given us your contact email address. If one of the songs you've uploaded to us gets broadcast on the radio, you should receive an email from us and the status of your track will also be updated on your Profile page. This may take place after the show you've been played on has been broadcast.
How can I improve my chances of getting airplay?
There's no easy answer here. Obviously, we can't play every track that we receive. So try not to be too discouraged if your tracks are listened to but don't get broadcast. There are plenty of other avenues out there to explore, and in the Advice section of our site you'll find loads of short videos from industry experts and established musicians that might give you some pointers about other ways to get you and your music noticed.
Remember, first impressions count. Think of your Profile in our system like a demo CD. You wouldn't burn off unfinished songs to CDs, bung them into envelopes with zero information, then post them out to A&R teams and radio producers around the country... would you? Hope not. If the first thing a producer hears is a badly recorded demo, it might put them off considering the tracks you upload in future. On the other hand, if the song isn't good enough quality to broadcast, but shows the making of a cracking tune, the producer might get in touch with you to ask for more. Weigh this up - and if you really want to upload tracks which aren't quite polished yet, you might want to consider emailing your local show in advance to warn them and explain your approach.
So, think carefully about what you submit. Make sure you're 100% happy with the tracks you've recorded before you upload them to us, and fill out the Biography section on your Profile with a decent amount of info about you and your music, enough to give our radio teams a flavour of what you're all about and something to read out on air.
Want more advice? We've put together a handy guide for improving the chances of your tracks getting selected.
If I delete one of my tracks will it affect how many tracks I am able to upload?
If you have already used up some or all of your upload limit (2 tracks in 30 days), deleting a track will return a potential track upload to your limit (up to a maximum of 2).
For example: if you have 1 upload remaining and delete one of your existing tracks, you will then have 2 uploads remaining.
Will you share my music with third parties?
Currently we only use your music on the BBC. However, we are always exploring opportunities to share music with potential partners. If you are interested in allowing us to share your music in this way then you can opt in via the checkbox on your Profile page.
As this is a new initiative for BBC Music Introducing, we've tried to answer the most anticipated questions below:
1. Why is the BBC doing this?
We’d like to be flexible for future opportunities. We don’t currently have any deals in place but that said, we’re always exploring our options to get your music out there.
2. How would it work?
You give us permission to make your track(s) available via carefully chosen commercial partners, in line with the BBC Music Introducing ethos.
3. Who will the BBC work with?
Commercial partners who fit with the BBC Music Introducing ethos, for example streaming services or other radio stations around the world.
4. Will you notify me if my music gets used commercially?
Yes, in the same way we would if your music is played on air.
5. Will I get credited if my music is used?
Wherever customary and possible - make sure your Introducing Profile is up to date!
6. How will I get paid?
BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, will do the deals and make sure you get paid, either by them or directly by the third party.
7. How much will I get paid?
50% of what we receive for your track(s) pro-rated across the total number of tracks used.
8. Can I withdraw my permission if I get signed to a record label?
Yes, in relation to any future commercial deals we may wish to do.
9. What happens if I decide to take my music down e.g. if the group splits up ?
We won’t consider it for any future commercial deals we may wish to do.
Why have I received an email about my Profile being deleted due to inactivity?
As stated in the BBC Music Introducing User Privacy Notice, the BBC will retain your Uploader information until 7 years have passed since you last made any updates to your Profile or uploaded a track.
If your email address is associated with a Profile that has not been active in at least 7 years, you will automatically receive an email to say that this particular Profile is scheduled for automatic deletion. To avoid this automatic deletion, you will need to sign in to the Profile and update it in some way.
Here is the most straightforward way to do this:
- Sign in to your Profile via this link: https://www.bbc.com/introducing/uploader/profile/edit
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save and continue”. By making this update your Profile will no longer be scheduled for deletion.
Because you haven’t made updates to your Profile for a while, you may be prompted to enter information into some fields before you can click “Save and continue”. This is also a good time to make sure the information that’s in your Profile is up-to-date.
I have received an email about my Profile being inactive but I have recently used it - what's going on?
The most likely source of the confusion is that you have at some point created more than one Profile with the same artist name and email address. You may not even remember creating a duplicate Profile or how to log back in to it again.
If you suspect this might be the case, contact us at introducingfeedback [at] bbc [dot] co [dot] uk. When you do this, it will be helpful if you include the artist name and ID of the Profile that you currently use.
Your ID can be found at the top of the Profile Overview section: https://www.bbc.com/introducing/uploader/profile
Please be assured that if you have a Profile that you've updated in some way - either by uploading a track or editing your Profile Overview - within the last 7 years, this will not be automatically deleted.
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, you can contact us by email at introducingfeedback [at] bbc [dot] co [dot] uk. When you write to this address you will first receive an auto-reply that reflects the FAQs and a few other common questions. Please note, if your issue is not covered in this auto-reply we will do our best to respond to you. Due to the large volume of emails that come in this may not be immediately. Please include your artist name, artist ID, track titles and screenshots where relevant. It is also useful to email us from the email address associated with your account.