Definition of ‘new music’ On BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2

Ofcom has decided to update the definition used to assess how much ‘new music’ is played on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2.

In the BBC’s Operating Licence, published in October last year, we placed a requirement on the BBC to ensure that a significant proportion of BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2’s airtime was dedicated to ‘new music’. This requirement helps to ensure that these services remain distinctive.

Following a public consultation, we have settled on a definition of ‘new music’ which better reflects how music is distributed today, taking account of the fact that physical sales have increasingly given way to downloads and streaming services.

In addition, we have decided to increase the proportion of ‘new music’ which Radio 1 is required to play in daytime, from 45% to 50%.

These changes come into force on 1 April 2018.




Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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