BBC Playlister – Nice idea, shame about the ethos

The BBC are busy launching their new Playlister across their portfolio of radio stations. The idea is simple – collect songs you like while listening online to listen again later or build your own personal playlist. It’s the ethos of the Playlister that bothers me.

BBC Playlister

I’m a huge fan of music and have been for as long as I can remember and discovering music has always played a big role in my life. I’ve made mixtapes and scribbled down track names when I’ve heard something on the radio that intrigues me – not exactly unusual in a music obsessive!

My radio station of choice is BBC Radio 6Music, they play an eclectic mix of music which nicely fits with the kind of music I’m interested in. Many of the presenters on 6Music come from a long tradition of rifling through records at their local independent record store (sadly becoming harder to find as each day goes by) to discover and stumble upon little gems that make it all worthwhile.  With all that in mind, I struggle to see how Playlister fits into the 6Music ethos?

Pushing listeners towards Spotify and away from record stores is not going to help the artists or the music industry as a whole. Musicians need to make a living just like the rest of us, if they can’t make any money from their talents fewer talents will break through.

BBC 6Music have supported Record Store Day, which creates a flurry of interest in limited edition vinyl once a year but fails to provide enough footfall annually for the average independent record store.  That aside, what will the impact of Playlister be on this relationship?

I’d love to know how many of the 6Music DJ’s feel about Playlister, but I don’t believe it will sit well with too many of them?