The BBC unleashes dynamic artist pages beta

The BBC has just released its next MusicBrainz enabled feature: Dynamic artist pages.

You can see how often your favorite artists have been played on the BBC networks since last year. Turns out Coldplay is quite popular. To see how often a specific artist has been played, find the MBID on MusicBrainz and then go to this URL:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/<artist mbid>

For instance, Portishead has mbid 8f6bd1e4-fbe1-4f50-aa9b-94c450ec0f11, so to check on Portishead, you’d go to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/8f6bd1e4-fbe1-4f50-aa9b-94c450ec0f11

The folks at the BBC assure me that all the artist MBIDs have a page there, but the page isn’t guaranteed to have much data. Even the MusicBrainz test artist is there. 🙂

Well done BBC! I’ve learned lots and lots about how the BBC operates and to see my friends at the BBC make highly visible progress tickles me pink!

Matthew Shorter of the BBC offers a little more insight:

Why are we doing this?
Currently our offerings around individual artists tend to be dispersed and hard to find. This leads to poor search performance for BBC music content, which means that users will typically only find content if directed by broadcast, or serendipitously by browsing brand sites.

Persistent unique URLs for artist pages which automatically aggregate what the BBC has to offer around individual artists will lead over time to much improved search performance and facilitate wider syndication of our content, building reach to brands. Automation and dynamic publishing means the pages can be created and maintained with a fraction of the manpower and server
load of the current generation.

Building good interrelated metadata for artists and programmes will also help greatly to enrich the music offering of radio & TV sites, offering such things as a chart of artists most played by a network, further information behind tracklists, rich now-playing information and so on.

What’s the offering?
We have a page for every artist in the MusicBrainz database – c.350,000 and counting. They contain, where available, basic information about the artist, discographies, high-quality images and details of play count by BBC networks & programmes. (It’s worth pointing out that for most of these pages, most of the time, there won’t be much content, but that’s fine, because pages will only ever be linked where we have broadcast or otherwise featured an artist, which by definition makes them significant.) See instructions at the bottom of this mail for how to access a given artist page*

5 thoughts on “The BBC unleashes dynamic artist pages beta

  1. voiceinsideyou

    That looks awesome – impressive stuff by the BBC. It’s a great feeling to see all ones hard work being utilised in such a slick manner! Big tings a’gwarn…

  2. dave

    Interesting to see that they’ve collapsed multi-disc sets and re-releases. It doesn’t appear they’ve done anything more clever than comparing the titles textually but it works quite well.

    Also, this may sound stupid but I think listing things in reverse chronological order works much better. Any chance of adopting that for Musicbrainz?

  3. Freso

    This looks awesome. And definitely more incentive for music folks to have their data entered into MusicBrainz. =)

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