“For the last 12 years, Zane 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,” Ben Sisario reports for The New York Times. “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.”
“Apple Music, which in addition to Beats 1 includes a subscription streaming service and a media platform for artists called Connect… has signed a gaggle of celebrities to do shows on Beats 1, among them Pharrell Williams, Drake, even Elton John,” Sisario reports. “‘Zane is a genuine enthusiast; this is not a fake thing,’ said Mr. John, whose Beats 1 show, ‘Elton John’s Rocket Hour,’ will be an eclectic mix of old songs and new. ‘He’s a fan, and he’s a fan who’s got the opportunity to make his position in the world work for other people. He genuinely loves music, and that’s my kind of guy.'”
“‘I’d started in radio at XFM,’ he recalled over a dinner near Apple’s Beats offices here, referring to a privately owned alternative station in London, ‘and then I got offered a chance to go to Radio 1,’ Sisario reports. “‘A friend said, ‘Why would you leave XFM?” he continued. ‘And I said, ‘Because at Radio 1, I can play records to the nation.’ It’s the same thing 12 years on: Maybe I can play records to the whole world. It’s hard not to get excited by that prospect when you love being that bridge between music and an audience.'”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Currently, since we’ll be subscribing, we consider Beats 1 to be a sidelight to the main Apple Music attraction: Unlimited access to just about every song ever recorded. But, since Beats 1 is free (available to anyone with a free Apple ID) and the membership is not ($9.99/mo.), it’ll be interesting to see just how popular Beats 1 becomes.