Apple’s entry into music streaming will not come too soon. And based on their plans they are not sparing any expense entering the fight for listeners in a growing crowded field. Led by Spotify, Apple has its work cut out for itself.
A large part of that new ecosystem includes a re-invention of classic radio with Beats 01. Apple searched the world to find someone who would have the gravitas to launch this unique supercharged experience. Zane Lowe proved to be that person. From the Times:
For the last 12 years, Mr. Lowe has been a top tastemaker on the BBC’s Radio 1 by championing brand-new music, landing interviews with stars like Kanye West and running his show with a frenetic production style inspired by hip-hop itself. Now he is preparing for a much broader role as the guiding voice of Beats 1, a free Internet radio station from Apple that on Tuesday will begin broadcasting to smartphones and laptops around the world — an experiment, of sorts, to reinvent live radio.
Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails, was the driving force behind Beats 01 and since has worked for Apple as Chief creative officer.
Hearing Mr. Lowe’s BBC show while on tour, Mr. Reznor considered the live, communal experience of an audience tuned in to the same songs. “I wondered if in today’s world there is still a place for monoculture,” he said. “Can that still exist?”
Planning has been completed for the first week, including interviewing Eminem:
After Eminem and his entourage left that night, Mr. Lowe recalled the interview’s high points: Eminem’s work on the music for the new film “Southpaw,” even his time as a boxer. The studio air was thick with the smell of sweat.
Beats 01 is just one leg of the 3-legged Apple Music stool due to debut June 30 along with the streaming iTunes music catalog and Connect – giving rising stars a way to share their self-produced tunes.
We’ll know soon enough just how well this strategy will work. It should also be noted that Beats 01 will not be limited to IOS, plans are to roll it out to Android devices as well.