BBC report commits to Internet-only future, plans new music streaming product

BBC logo canvasThe BBC started talking about the need to up its digital game in recent months, and today the organization has formalized a plan which reimagines the future. In its latest report, the BBC outlined its approach to adapting to an increasingly online media landscape. The broadcaster laid out a ten-year plan that aims to equally cater to those people who have gone all-in on digital services and to those who still prefer to use traditional channels.

“We will be moving to an Internet-fit BBC, to be ready for an Internet-only world whenever it comes,” the report said.

That’s a big shift in rhetoric for the BBC. It does clarify that it will not be an online-only operation within the next decade and goes on to recommit to its identity as a broadcaster. But it does plan to have its traditional channels supported by Internet-first services. The balance of Internet and broadcast means that the BBC will be shifting how it commissions and plans its programming, “no longer treating TV, radio and online as separate sets of services, for instance, but looking across everything that we do to make the content that meets audience needs properly.”

Part of this digital revolution also means getting on board the streaming bandwagon. The report touched on the BBC’s plans to launch a new streaming service that complements existing platforms with discovery and playlists. The plan will revamp BBC Music’s Playlister feature into streaming service with access to the 50,000 songs in the BBC’s broadcast catalog for that month. The focus will be on playlists – made by the BBC or by the listener – that can be transferred to other streaming properties.

“Our music product would be the only one in the market which would be fully open and integrated with other digital providers,” the report said. “Users will be able to transfer playlists between digital music products, and access them after BBC availability has expired through third-party providers.”

The report did acknowledge that the BBC is under some financial pressure as it prepares to make these adaptations. It is being tasked with saving another 20% of its revenues in the next five years and will likely need to make cuts in its services. Exactly how that will play into its Internet-friendly plans remains to be seen. But the core message from this report is that the BBC is taking steps to change how it will achieve its mission in the modern era.

Anna Washenko


  1. Terrestrial Radio is not dead yet, but it is on “life support”. The car remains the last safe haven, but that’s changing with WIFI enabled dashboards.

  2. Terrestrial Radio is old technology. I envision a day when radio signals themselves will be used to digitally stream content much like current WiFi systems. But, I think that local programming (local talent, Local news) will still be king of content. The only question is “how will it be delivered?”

  3. Terrestrial Radio is not only “old technology”. It can be “transformed” technically speaking. It did it in the past, it will again in the near future. So, in a way, we could say it will be “transmitting” either through the cables via internet or Wi-Fi via the internet. Basically the problem goes to those who tune in at drive time, or to anyone who needs to listen through wireless outside. After a small research the result is this. Yes, very soon indeed all the planet will have Internet, and all the listeners which are based at offices maybe at work or sitting at their houses, yes those listeners will be listening only through internet the tons of web stations. But what happens with the internet in the car? It is technically impossible to give wireless internet in the car with the same way that the FM wave can cover long distances. And free of course, and at all the countries global, and with the same protocol. That won’t happen for many years. Basically this is the only problem. When the FM signal will be free and everywhere in any car, at any place ion the planet, then, it brings tears in my eyes, the FM and AM bands won’t be necessary any more

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