How Beats 1 can take on SiriusXM: What if Beats 1 was the start of a whole radio network?

“The real gem of Apple Music is something that isn’t all that modern: a censored radio station,” Michael Simon writes for Macworld. “Streaming services have turned music listening into a very individualized experience, so it was somewhat surprising when Apple announced Beats 1 as one of the main features of its new service. But what’s truly surprising is how great it is.”

“I’ll admit that I wasn’t all that interested in the prospect of an Apple-helmed Internet radio station, but Beats 1 does a fantastic job of capturing everything that was once revolutionary about radio,” Simon writes. “Gathering around a boom box with your friends to hear the latest Taylor Swift single may be a romantic, old-fashioned notion, but Apple has hit on something truly special with the communal nature of Beats 1. Ever since it launched I’ve been reading tweets about how people around the world are discovering new music, and as a longtime satellite radio subscriber, I’ve actually begun to consider the prospect of switching full-time, a feeling my turns with Spotify or Pandora never elicited. And I don’t think I’m alone.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, do we continue our SiriusXM subscription after subscribing to Apple Music, too? The services don’t totally overlap. Howard Stern and Sports are two things you don’t have on Apple Music, but for those who subscribe to SiriusXM mainly for music, we can imagine that Apple Music can more than fulfill those needs.


  1. Data rates, could hinder Beats 1. But not sure what the usages is like, since I have not gone over yet. Also Apple would need to also stream sports. Just pointing out some differences here SiriusXM has been at this a long time and still continues to truggle to make profit.

    1. Yes – that was my first thought. The first film in any movie franchise doesn’t have the number 1 after it, you only get that with sequels … Toy Story 2, Rocky II etc. The originals were simply Toy Story or Rocky.

      The fact that it launched with the title Beats 1 implies that other stations were already being planned.

  2. Agreed with above – the biggest deterrent may be data usage for streaming live radio. At least with the playlists you can save them for offline listening. I would love additional Beats live radio stations. That the first channel censors music does not give me much hope for Howard Stern on Beats 2 though.

  3. Long term, data rates aren’t going to be an issue. Even SiriusXM will eventually ditch the satellite and go full Internet. Personally, I use SiriusXM over the Internet now, as the satellite version is painfully over-compressed. They’ll switch over because it shifts the transmission cost over to the consumer in a somewhat transparent way.

    Also, from the beginning I expected a Beats 2, Beats 3 etc…

    SiriusXM will experience the same thing as Spotify but has a better position due to contractual obligations from Stern and sports.

    However, they’re over $5 Billion in debt with a P/E ratio of about 45. They’ve been profitable for a while now, but that’s been based on subscription growth and riding off their existing 9 satellites.

    Subscription growth has led to short term profits, but the growth, nor the profits to date is enough to pay for replacement of those 9 satellites which begins at around 2 years from now.

    Combine this with a direct hit from multiple Beats channels, and they’ve got problems

    It also sucks for them that they need to make a decision on future satellites so soon. While moving to Internet-only makes sense, the bulk of their subscribers have equipment that isn’t Internet-ready.

    So either SiriusXM makes an expensive investment in new satellites (an obsolete infrastructure) to support the bulk of their existing subscribers, or they see a huge drop in subscribers if they transition to Internet-only.

    While SiriusXM embraced the Internet as a means of transmission, and certainly embraced iOS, I don’t think they were on the forefront of evangelizing hardware vendors to move towards IP.

  4. I’ve been an XM/Sirius subscriber since 2005. However, now that I have Apple Music, I no longer see the need…except for one major issue: there are many areas around my state where I travel that there is only Edge or no data signal. In those areas, I must use Sirius since the satellite signal is always available. What do others suggest?

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