Statement published 27 March 2018
Ofcom’s responsibilities include holding the BBC to account for delivering its mission and promoting its public purposes. One of the ways we do so is by setting an operating licence for the BBC containing a set of regulatory conditions with which the BBC must comply.
In the operating licence issued in October 2017, we placed requirements on the BBC to ensure a significant proportion of Radio 1 and Radio 2’s music output was New Music. However, we also noted that whether songs qualified as ‘new’ had for many years been determined by a physical release date. As physical sales have increasingly given way to downloads and streaming services, we said we would look to amend the definition of New Music to reflect how music is now released to the public.
We issued a consultation on an updated definition in January 2018. At the same time, we also proposed adjusting the proportion of New Music which the BBC is required to play on Radio 1.
This statement summarises the comments we received to our proposals, our responses to those comments, and sets out our final decisions.
The New Music conditions for Radio 1 and Radio 2 will come into force, using the new definition, on 1 April 2018.
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