The Telegraph is reporting that the BBC is putting together Playlister, an on-demand music service that will give Brits access to "hundreds of thousands" of music recordings for free. Playlister will be similar to the likes of Spotify, Deezer, and Rdio, but, if The Telegraph's figures are correct, will offer only a fraction of the commercial services' music catalogues. It's not clear from the report whether the tracks on offer will be live recordings from the BBC's archives, regular songs, or a combination of the two. The BBC is apparently speaking with existing providers to help it license the streaming rights. When asked for comment, the broadcaster replied that it is "regularly in conversation with digital music providers" in regards to strengthening "radio’s position as the number one place for discovering music in the UK."
The BBC already offers access to its radio stations online, either through live streaming or delayed-live playback of entire shows, but has never offered a way to stream individual tracks. If all goes to plan, the new service will launch either towards the end of this year or the beginning of 2013. Musically points out that the BBC is holding a press event for its iPlayer service later this week, so we may be hearing more about Playlister sooner rather than later.