BBC Music today announces an exciting new partnership with the Mercury Prize for 2015 which will see the iconic prize return to the BBC. There will be programming on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music, plus a greater emphasis on multiplatform content as part of this extensive new partnership for 2015.

This year’s 2015 Mercury Prize in association with BBC Music will culminate in the announcement of the overall winner on Friday 20 November 2015 on both BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music.

Record labels are invited to submit their entries to this year’s 2015 Mercury Prize from Thursday 9 July and, as part of the BBC’s coverage dedicated to the Mercury Prize, the shortlist of 12 Albums of the Year will be unveiled exclusively on BBC Radio 6 Music on Friday 16 October. An eclectic series of broadcasts are scheduled to follow across the BBC’s radio and digital platforms, including showcasing the Mercury Prize 2015 Albums of the Year through a series of studio sessions featuring this year’s shortlisted artists.

The Mercury Prize in association with BBC Music is the latest initiative to be announced just over a year since BBC Music was launched. The corporation announced its strongest commitment to music in 30 years in June 2014 – comprising an ambitious wave of new programmes, innovative partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives led by Director Bob Shennan. Initiatives since last year’s launch include the recreation of God Only Knows, regular musical performances on BBC One’s The One Show; BBC Music Awards; the classical music initiative for schools ‘Ten Pieces’; BBC Music Day and a raft of exclusive BBC iPlayer commissions.

2015 will see the Prize move away from its traditional Awards Show event to work with the BBC to deliver even greater reach and more premium quality music content. The partnership with BBC Music forms part of a new long-term strategy the Mercury Prize is developing with the support of its longstanding partner, music body the BPI, to expand its reach, profile and digital engagement across the UK and internationally.

The Mercury Prize organisers will also look to work more closely with other groups that represent the wider music community, such as artists, management and independent music labels, with the ultimate aim of encouraging and supporting exciting new talent and recorded music in all its diverse forms and across all artistic styles.

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Music, says: “From burgeoning new talent to global superstars, BBC Music celebrates and supports British music on every scale and form, so a partnership with the esteemed Mercury Prize is a natural and exciting fit. Our programming will reflect the diversity of the Prize and will feature performances and interviews from the 12 shortlisted acts.”

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor for BBC Four, says: “I’m delighted the Mercury Prize in association with BBC Music will feature on BBC Four, the home of music television at the BBC.”

Dan Ford, Mercury Prize Managing Director, says: “The announcement of this extensive BBC partnership and support from the BPI and the wider music community is an exciting first step in the development of a new long-term vision for the Mercury Prize that will help to ensure and extend its relevance to a new generation of music fans for years to come. As the Prize approaches its landmark 25th anniversary, it is increasingly important that we work with broadcast partners and music organisations that share our passion for the award’s values in order to help us achieve the broadest possible reach and profile.”

Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 Music presenter, says: “I have a long history with the Mercury Prize and couldn’t be happier to be involved with it in 2015 as it returns to the BBC as a part of BBC Music. It’s a fantastic celebration of Britain’s vibrant, diverse music scene.”

Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, says: “The Mercury Prize is an important part of our cultural landscape, recognising and celebrating the finest British and Irish albums released every year, regardless of genre, fashion or commercial success – it’s the Man Booker or Turner Prize for music. The BPI is passionate about supporting new British music, and having helped to establish the Prize in 1992, we’re delighted to be working with the Mercury Prize team alongside BBC Music and the wider music community to help develop its long-term future.”

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