According to business leaders, cutting BBC Introducing would hurt UK music

the BBC

The proposed cuts to BBC Introducing have drawn "grave concerns" from organizations representing artists and the music business.

Since its inception in 2007, Introducing has given aspiring musicians the opportunity to be played on their neighborhood BBC radio station.

Florence The Machine, Ed Sheeran, Little Simz, and Lewis Capaldi are just a few of the artists whose careers it has aided in starting.

However, as a result of the local radio cuts, there could be a reduction in the number of regional Introducing shows from 32 to 11, according to the presenters.

While the BBC has not yet made any official announcements, it stated on Wednesday that it would continue to air Introducing programs "as part of our schedule on Thursday and Saturday" while "giving more prominence to new music" elsewhere on the schedule.

How many of the regional programs would continue to air was not confirmed.

The broadcaster is currently moving forward with plans to "reshape local services," which, according to the broadcaster, will improve online content and "help us connect with more people in more communities right across England.".

The presentation teams allegedly received redundancy notice last week, sparking speculation about the future of Introducing.

Abbie McCarthy, whose Introducing program on BBC Radio Kent has given early exposure to acts like Everything Everything, Soft Play, Venbee, and Mimi Webb, says, "We're all a little bit nervous and frightened.".

We currently have 32 shows scheduled across the UK, but it appears that number will be drastically reduced. We are fighting them to the best of our ability even though they haven't yet been locked in. ".

Florence and the Machine
In 2009, Florence The Machine made their Reading Festival debut on the BBC Introducing stage.

The band Yard Act, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize, stated on Twitter that "regional diversity is integral to balance within the industry.". "The chance for local voices to gain national recognition is diminished by the removal of local shows. ".

Welsh singer-songwriter Catherine Anne Davies, who goes by the stage name The Anchoress, continued, "BBC Introducing is a crucial pipeline for anyone trying to break into the industry without the backing of a major label or financial backing of their own.".

"Without it, music will become increasingly the domain of the privileged few. Continued success is essential. ".

The host of BBC Radio 6 Music, Tom Robinson, urged listeners to express their support for BBC Introducing on his personal website. He is now posting the responses, which have reached nearly 6,000 in total.

The music business, which demanded assurances about the future of Introducing, has supported them.

The Association of Independent Music, the Music Managers Forum, and the Music Venue Trust are among the 13 organizations that have written an open letter to BBC chairman Richard Sharp.

The health of the entire grassroots sector would suffer a fundamental blow, they wrote, and they wanted to make that point very clear to you.

"New and emerging musicians and artists already face many challenges entering the music business, which are made worse for those who live outside of the major cities.

"No matter what organizational changes may be necessary to ensure the BBC's long-term stability and viability, BBC Introducing shouldn't be the unintended casualty of those modifications. " .

Holly Humberstone
Holly Humberstone got her start on BBC Introducing and went on to win the Brits Rising Star Award in 2022.

Last October, the BBC announced significant cuts to its local radio offerings. Many stations merged their programming after 6 o'clock, and one "all-England" show began airing at 10 o'clock every night of the week.

The organization stated that the new schedules "will not compromise the essence of BBC Introducing" in a statement.

"We need to acknowledge the changing listening habits of audiences, and the goal is to reach even more people," it was added.

"Every local radio station has a place on BBC Sounds, which has a fixed Introducing slot featuring prominently with more content than radio schedules could ever accommodate.

"We also frequently play Introducing music and artists on breakfast shows, and we'll keep doing that.

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