Audio Commissions

Audio Duration: 1min – 10mins
Support Package: up to £3.5k

We’re particularly interested in works that represent creative storytelling in its broadest sense. We want stylistic innovation – for you to push boundaries and to create works that can surprise listeners with their inventiveness and ingenuity. 

For Round 4 we are focussing on audio storytelling through spoken wordscripted, comedy, creative factual or scripted drama. 

However, we are still interested in combinations of soundscapes, music, performance and sound design that convey your idea in the best way possible. 

We’re also looking for stories that can reflect experiences and places so that we can build a rich and diverse portfolio of audio works. 





What Type of Ideas Are We Looking For?

For New Creatives, we want to see proposals for fresh, innovative audio projects that reflect in some way on the experience of living in modern Britain. 

We are NOT asking for ideas that explicitly deal with life under Lockdown or the shortages of PPE etc.  However, we do want you to respond to modern Britain as you see it, so you may want to think about the “new normal” or the near future, or you may want to deal with issues and themes that you feel have been marginalised and need talking about. 

The current CV19 situation is of course very relevant, but mainly because it impacts on production techniques and resources.  We have to assume that social distancing will be the norm for the foreseeable future.  When thinking about your ideas, bear in mind that large casts or crews will be difficult to achieve with the limited budget and time frame.  If you have an existing idea that you think might be adapted to the current circumstances, feel free to submit it, but show us that you have thought about how it could be developed and produced. 

Your ideas can be serious, comedic, absurd, challenging, provocative or abstract. 

We’re looking for you to push the boundaries on what constitutes “art”, make people think, and encourage new ways of understanding the world and ourselves. 

Think about: 

  • Relevance: the ideas and themes that really matter to you and your community – however you might define it.
  • Talkability: shareable content that gets people talking.
  • Timeliness: ideas that impact people’s lives here and now.
  • Originality: Content that innovates and hasn’t been seen this way before.

You can listen back to New Creatives audio work from previous rounds on BBC Sounds.

What Is Included In The Support Package?

If your application is shortlisted you will receive professional guidance and training support  before your developed project is sent to the BBC Panel for review.

If selected for commissioning then you will receive a support package of up to £3.5k (depending on the complexity of the work), which includes:

Mentor: A dedicated industry professional who will be able to support you throughout the process as a springboard to share your creative thoughts and to demystify the technical broadcast process. They’ll be able to help raise the production value of your audio work and tap you into their networks.

Executive Producer: There will be Executive Producer from Calling the Shots assigned to your project to feedback at key stages and help push your work to be the best it can be, their role is to consider potential audiences.

Production: You will receive a production budget to cover costs such as fees for crew, cast, clearing music rights or hiring of recording spaces. This will allow you produce a work of high production value at a broadcast standard level of work. The Calling the Shots team will also be able to offer ongoing production support, such as sourcing locations or recording equipment.

Post-Production & Technical Delivery: We partner with South West based post-production houses to ensure a consistent standard of delivery to the BBC. As part of New Creatives you will be able to use their facilities and talented sound mixers, colourists and online editors to shape your film or audio work.

Application Process

Application and Shortlisting

Submit your application via the Submittable form before the deadline date.

Your application will be reviewed by Calling the Shots (CTS) and if shortlisted you will receive professional training and development for your idea.

To be a shortlisted New Creative does not guarantee that you will move on to the commissioning stage.

Training and Development

You will receive 3 days online training and professional development. The sessions will cover ideas, narrative, training in broadcast audio production and self-branding and marketing.

You will develop your idea further in one-on-one sessions.

Developed ideas (along with a production budget and schedule) are reviewed by a panel of BBC Arts and Calling the Shots executives, and the best ones are commissioned.


Each commissioned New Creative will receive a support package, these are variable depending on the scale and ambition of the work.

Your New Creative Producer will assign you with a professional Mentor who will support you to produce a broadcast quality work.

From signing the artist agreement, you will have 3 months in production, including post-production and quality checks and broadcast standard mix.

Broadcast and Distribution

Finished work is delivered to BBC Arts and may be selected for a new strand, BBC Introducing Arts, which will showcase and introduce new artistic talent from across the UK via all BBC Platforms – on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, BBC television, BBC Radio – and beyond.

We’ll look to identify the best platform for each idea.

We'll look to identify the best platform for each project.