BBC Asian Network Down Fall?

Since the Bhangra industry in the UK has struggled to stay competitive in the music industry over the past decade, many producers have moved on to capturing talent from the Indian market. As a result, local British singers are opting to make a name for themselves in India. In view of how many platforms in the UK have chosen to capture Indian artists, we found a radio station here that had a special motive to promote the UK’s Asian Music Industry. Today, they are known as BBC Asian Network, which first aired in 1989 showcasing the talents of Asians. However, it seems like the network has gotten off track over time in which they have categorized music into A, B & C playlists.

Why does the BBC Asian Network team categorize and play songs in different listings?

Do they playlist soundtracks based on the content? Or is it because of who they support?

Among BBC Asian Network’s team members are those who control listening sessions to new soundtracks they receive through press releases, and they categorize the songs using three playlists. There is no doubt that some members have a great deal of power to decide which artists and producers will be given VIP access to be played on some of the most popular programs they consider to do so. In this instance, partiality turns out to be an issue as who are these people?

Do they all work for the BBC? Or are they supporting their friends in the music industry in order to get more exposure for their new releases while the rest struggle to establish themselves?

What is the purpose of BBC Asian Network?

Do they really benefit us? How likely is it that they will treat our local producers equally to those they give VIP treatment to? There is no doubt that the current music market is dominated by India and Canada, but why is the UK so overlooked? Are there any barriers to the globalization of UK talent? When it comes to supporting or not supporting musicians, mainstream media should be impartial instead of supporting their friends in the industry. 

Those working behind the scenes of BBC Asian Network assume the current generation is more familiar with urban artists, which is not true, as most listen to Punjabi music. Urban artists have a very small listener ship which they only cater to a set audience, a Punjabi folk lover would never choose to listen to urban music as there is nothing Bhangra or UK Bhangra about it. When it comes to BBC Asian Network, they have always wanted to adapt to the westernized sound and the Brit Asian audience who have no clue about what Bhangra music is. This is a root cause for why urban has overtaken Bhangra music in the UK as the presenters / DJs have really tried to make a mockery out of our Punjabi culture and traditions just to fit in a culture that can never replace Punjabi music. 

In 2021, we discovered that the listener ship had dropped for BBC Asian Network as new audience figures were released. According to a survey conducted by from July 2021 to December 2021, which indicated that the average listening time of BBC Asian Network was just 4.7 hours per week. This means that the listener ship of BBC Asian Network is much lower than what is expected. It is considered that most of the Asian population in the UK are more familiar with the community radio stations. Those of us who grew up in the 90s probably grew up listening to more Bollywood songs and Punjabi songs made in the UK, but why has BBC Asian Network changed its taste so dramatically from broadcasting mainly urban music now?

The question is: What is the role of BBC Asian Network in the UK music industry? Would they be willing to take on the challenge of reestablishing their reputation in the local music market, or will they continue to undercut local artists? Due to the fact that many talented singers and music producers self-invest in their music yet the India-based singers get paid while Indian music producers receive funding from established record labels or production houses that are capable of developing worldwide marketing strategies, platforms such as BBC Asian Network are considering their ways of supporting India rather than our local talent. 

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