With previous winners including Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and Little Boots, it's a chart that's long been the preserve of major labels, and this year all but one act is on the books of the biggest hitters.
Yet with Lana Del Rey and Emili Sandé both ineligible, the field this year has looked unusually open. And it's noticeably less the preserve of female solo artists and guitar bands than it has been in recent years.
The 15 acts meeting with the approval of a selection of 'tastemakers' (disclaimer: I was one) are: A$AP Rocky, Azealia Banks, Dot Rotten, Dry The River, Flux Pavilion, Frank Ocean, Friends, Jamie N Commons, Lianne La Havas, Michael Kiwanuka, Niki & The Dove (pictured), Ren Harvieu, Skrillex, Spector, Stooshe.
This list will be narrowed to a Top 5 in January. I'm hoping at least one of my choices makes it, though it's quite possible that the rookie of the year will be someone not listed here. With omissions like Tribes and 2:54, as ever the fun will be in being surprised by something unexpected.
Did your choices make the longlist? Who will be crowned the BBC Sound Of 2012? Let us know below.