At last – the start of a completely new phase for BBC Introducing. This has been under wraps for so long, I’ve been biting my tongue to keep from telling people until now. I’m thrilled to see the BBC increase its support for the writers and artists who actually make new music in this country, rather than continuing to act merely as a marketing arm for the UK record industry.
The whole point of BBC Introducing is to help artists get heard WITHOUT any need for insider contacts, promotional budgets, bigshot managers, slick PR companies – or any need to sign their life away in a one-sided recording contract. And here’s an important new step in that direction:
Independent UK artists can now sign up for a free account at bbc.co.uk/music/introducing/uploader and upload three tracks a month (MP3 files at up to 320 kbps) which will go DIRECTLY to the BBC Introducing show nearest to your postcode – and to the national Introducing show of your choice. Your music will get heard and will get considered. Guaranteed.
Now here’s the thing. Just at the moment nobody knows about this. This is a fully working beta version which hasn’t yet been mentioned on air. If you get uploading right now, you’ll be in the very first batch of artists to get their music heard in this way. And if you upload something absolutely gobsmackingly brilliant, it’s a fair bet the entire Introducing team and management will be talking about it as an example of how successful this new tool has proved in discovering new talent.
So don’t delay. It’s a fair bet that within 3 months all the cannier indie record labels and plugging companies will be busily uploading all their latest singles by newly signed acts, and once again the bias will start to swing in favour of the haves versus the have-nots.
A few points to bear in mind
– Do optimise your music before converting to MP3. The iZotope Ozone 3 mastering plug-in has great presets that can make a world of difference to the sound of your demo. It could be the best £150 you’ll ever spend. You can even download a free 10 day trial of version 4 here but V3 is also fine – and cheaper.
– Even if you don’t feel confident about mastering or even compressing your audio, at least ‘Normalize‘ the digital audio file to use the full dynamic range before doing the conversion. That way at least your MP3 will have been created from a full 16 bitsworth of information.
– Always convert to MP3 at 320 kbps or variable bit rate before using the BBC Uploader – why would you want Huw Stephens to hear your music at anything but its best?
– Don’t use your three-songs-a-month limit all at once. Just upload your ultimate killer track, then wait. if you haven’t got an ultimate killer track, stop reading this and go write one, right now!
– Do join the PRS/MCPS Alliance. This applies to all UK composers, not just those uploading to BBC Introducing. Register your songs with them so that you get paid anytime they’re played on the radio, or anywhere else in public.
– You should also become a member of PPL, and if you write music, consider joining the professional body which looks after your interests – the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters
– And finally do make separate contact with the BBC Introducing shows of your choice, and let them know you’ve used the Uploader to send in your music. That way they’ll be looking out for it.
Get in there early, get noticed, and… good luck!!