BBC Radio 1 has been told that 50% of the songs it plays in the daytime must be “new music”.
The ruling came from Ofcom, which said “a significant proportion” of the music must come from “emerging UK artists”.
The watchdog also tightened up its definition of new music, which could result in a higher rate of turnover on Radio 1 and Radio 2’s playlists.
However, it stopped short of imposing tougher guidelines requested by the BBC’s commercial rivals.
Under the previous system, new music was defined as songs that were either unreleased or less than one month old.
The new rules state: “A song is to be considered ‘New Music’ for a period of either (a) 12 months from first release; or (b) six weeks from the date it first enters the Top 20 – whichever is sooner.”
The move reflects the advent of streaming, where a song can be available for months before becoming a mainstream radio hit.
Radio 1’s new music quota has been raised from 45% to 50% of the songs broadcast in daytime; while Radio 2 must observe the lower figure of 20%.
However, both Radio 1 and Radio 2 already exceed the targets – playing 54% and 28% new music respectively.