updated 06:13 pm EDT, Tue October 2, 2012
BBC said to be in talks with Spotify, Deezer, Apple
The BBC is looking to leverage its own music archive holdings into a digital streaming service that would be known as Playlister. The Telegraph carries word today that the BBC has been in talks with a number of bigger names in the streaming and online music industry in efforts to circumvent potential licensing issues that would arise from the use of its vast archive of music recordings. Should the BBC be able to clear the rights issues surrounding its archives, it would then roll out a service in the vein of Spotify, wherein license fee payers would be given access to the BBC's hundreds of thousands of recordings.
The BBC is said to be in talks with Spotify, French-run Deezer, and Apple's iTunes Music Store to build Playlister. Those companies have bulk deals with the record labels, enabling them to avoid the licensing contortions typically necessary to stream music. BBC's director of Audio & Music, Tim Davie, is said to be heading up the project. Davie reportedly views Playlister as his biggest legacy at the corporation.
Should current negotiations succeed, the service would likely debut in 2013. British customers that paid a license fee would then have access to the BBC's catalog in a manner similar to that seen with the corporation's successful iPlayer.