BBC Introducing

Quality First Proposal

2007 saw the launch of BBC Introducing, which for the last five years has served as the gateway into the BBC for unsigned bands. Being a music lover and a licence fee payer I have always been of the opinion that this is a great service for the network to provide. It acts as a medium for unsigned and undiscovered bands/artists to get their music played on the BBC and providing a platform for success.

The Introducing format has been split across the nations which resulted in bands outside of the London area having a great opportunity to have their music heard. When the BBC released the document ‘Delivering Quality First’ the BBC Management were proposing to replace the current late night nations opt-out programmes on Radio 1 with a single programme that would offer a UK-wide platform for undiscovered music, unsigned music and emerging talent from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”. What these proposals mean is that the Introducing format as it stands at the moment will be merged into one. Therefore emerging talent in Wales, Scotland and Ireland will have less of an opportunity to get their music heard.

There is always the argument that if you are good enough then you will make it, but we all know that is not always the case. There have always been talent that is more than good enough to make it in the industry, but they don’t break through down to lack of opportunities and sometimes it can be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. By having the Introducing format it has created a far higher chance for real talent to break through.

Some of the bands that have had a breakthrough from the Introducing/Nations format in Wales alone include Joy Formidable, Race Horses, Lostprophets, Los Campesinos, Bullet For My Valentine, Cate Le Bon, Sweet Baboo, Al Lewis, The Gentle Good, Euros Childs, and Neon Neon.

I completely understand the difficult times that the country is facing at the moment, cut backs are being made that are having a huge impact on peoples lives. However the BBC is a public service that is a national institution in this country. It is a network that due to the unique way it is funded has always allowed for creativity to shine. Why is it that at times of cutbacks is the BBC trying to cutback on the shows that allow and encourage that creativity. The network has recently tried to shut down 6 Music, are discussing reducing funding for new programmes on BBC 4 which would result in the station being filled with repeats. Now with the proposals to cut the introducing format to one show I am seriously worried that the opportunities for new talent outside of London will diminish significantly.

Surely there could be alternative ways to make cutbacks? There are a number of highly paid stars and management on the network earning six figure salaries. Yes these people are talented but do they really deserve that much of our money?Would it not be better for the BBC to cut some of these high salaries and save the networks that encourage new talent.

These talks are at the discussion stages, if you feel strongly about this there are petitions online that can be signed. 6 Music was saved through the power of the people, and I am sure the same can be done for BBC Introducing. The BBC is our service, it is funded through our money, lets ensure we have the format that we want and deserve.

The full Delivering Quality First report can be found here.

Steve Tay

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