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JOSEPH AND LOUSADA DISCUSS BBC RADIO SHAKE-UP

British major-label bosses have revealed their thoughts on the potential shakeup of Radio 1 and 2 as the BBC enters a new decade of its Royal Charter, with UMG’s David Joseph and WMG’s Max Lousada standing firm in their support for the public-service broadcaster.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale revealed the government's proposals for the future of the Beeb in his white paper on 5/12, based on survey results from the great British public, who were asked what they’d like to see from the BBC over the next 11 years.

BBC Radio 1 and 2 are the most popular radio stations in the U.K., and 53% of radio-listening Brits tune in to the BBC. However, there are concerns BBC Radio 1 isn’t distinctive enough from commercial pop rivals like the Capital network and Absolute Radio. Whittingdale says the BBC should play a mix of popular tracks alongside more new and less well known music.

BBC Radio 1 currently plays 60 hours of specialist music each week, 40% of music in the daytime is from U.K. acts each year, and 45% of music in the day is new each year. Those stats look likely to rise over the next 11 years, with playlist deciders being encouraged to take more risks.

While the Beeb has played an important role in supporting homegrown talent in the British music industry, with Adele, Sam Smith and Coldplay all receiving their first track plays on Radio 1, U.S. talent has also taken prime playlist spots in recent years and those opportunities look set to reduce.

UMG U.K. boss David Joseph told us: “Whatever the new rules turn out to be, it’s always felt like the BBC takes its responsibility to break new domestic artists very seriously. It’s something they do very well already, and [Head of Music for Radio 1 and 1Xtra] Chris Price has been a brilliant appointment.”

Max Lousada, Chairman & CEO, Warner Music U.K., agreed with Joseph that the Beeb has always taken its role in breaking new talent seriously.

“The U.K. has an amazing history of developing and breaking hugely important artists who make a significant impact on a global scale and Radio 1 is a big part of that, balancing chart hits with emerging talent and therefore being able to introduce large audiences to new music,” said Lousada.

“A dedication to finding and championing new British sounds across all genres is part of BBC Radio’s DNA - they care about good tracks and play a vital role in helping to break exciting new artists and uphold the quality and diversity of our music scene.

“Any measures they take to give even more opportunities to up and coming acts would be welcomed because, as I've said before, the BBC is simply fundamental to the ongoing health of British music.”                                

A debate over the proposals will happen in Parliament in autumn and the drafting and signing of the new charter for the next 11 years will follow. 

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