“My prediction is that Beats 1 will be a disappointment,” Kurt Hanson, CEO of AccuRadio, a personalizable Internet radio service, writes for Radio and Internet News. “It’s an idea hatched by old-school record execs and musicians and air talent, based on an outdated mindset that it’s good to have a massive audience listening simultaneous to one linear stream of music as selected by powerful tastemakers (i.e., those old-school record execs and musicians and air talents). It’s like launching an FM station in 1976 in mono.”
“Users expect to be able to skip songs they don’t like, and they expect to rate or thumb-up or -down the songs they hear to influence the subsequent music played to them. (They also have grown to like the low ratio of talk-vs.-music on online radio — e.g., no voices jabbering over song intros or outros. But that’s a different topic),” Hanson writes. “Beats 1 rolls back the clock to the days before online radio became a one-to-one customizable product. Everyone will hear the same songs, unskippably. An upside is that the jocks will be able to talk up this week’s priority bands and albums. If it garners a huge audience, it will be a record executive’s dream! But my guess is that it won’t.”
“There is hope for Apple’s concept, however, and it may be part of their master plan, at least in the back of the minds of some of their staffers — and that’s if it makes financial sense for them to eventually launch a Beats 2 and Beats 3 and Beats 4,” Hanson writes. “Despite the existence for decades of satellite-delivered 24/7 syndicated formats, and the efforts of XM and Sirius, America has never had a great, live, national Top 40 station. Theoretically, that could be Beats 2. That might work. Top 40 listeners like the interplay of personalities and music.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: At this juncture, the jury’s still out. However, Zane Lowe has proven to be popular wherever he is “on the air,” so we expect him and Beats 1 to pick up a decent measure of listenership. Remember the naysayers when Howard Stern left terrestrial radio for Sirius satellite radio? His audience went with him – in droves – converting from free listeners to paying subscribers in the process.
We look at Beats 1 as an interesting experiment; something’s that’s certainly not at all critical to Apple Music’s success, but would be icing on the cake if it happened to strike a chord and develop a following.