Beats 1 might just be one of the best radio stations out there.
Last week, Apple released iOS 8.4 alongside Apple Music, a streaming music service. In addition, Apple’s music addition also included Connect, a promotional tool for artists (“great stuff straight from the artists”) and Beats 1, a 24/7 Internet radio station with constant music and prominent live DJs, guest DJs, and various radio shows. Unlike Apple Music and its $9.99/month subscription fee, Beats 1 is completely free, and will even become available to Android users in the near future, which makes Apple Music Apple’s first Android app — can you tell they’re really trying to take over the music streaming service industry and dethrone competitors like Spotify and Rdio? Beats 1 is ad-supported, but doesn’t air those full, annoying commercials like the ones you hear on the radio — the ads on Beats 1 are short and act more as sponsor shout-outs. What’s interesting to note about Beats 1 is that it censors explicit songs even though services are allowed to play uncensored songs over the Internet (personally, I always go for the “explicit” version of a track on Spotify) — this could be because they are trying to attract a more wide-ranging audience. And speaking of audiences, there’s no doubt that Beats 1 is attracting a huge, global audience. As Mike Elgan of Computer World pointed out, there’s only one version of Beats 1 being offered — this means that I’m hearing the same content that someone in London or Budapest is also listening to. With technology being able to take you here and there and everywhere, this is one of the rare times that we can all share the same media experience (aside from when we win the World Cup obviously).
may be am totally giving into the hype around Apple Music, but it’s hard not to when I continuously see articles boasting about various, high-profile artists hosting radio shows on the new radio station. Beats 1 is hosted by three main DJs, and arguably the cream of the crop when it comes to radio personalities: former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, ex-Hot 97 host Ebro Darden, and London-based radio personality Julie Adenuga (okay, so she’s relatively unknown compared to the former two, but this is already changing thanks to Beats 1). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how star-studded the Beats 1 Radio shows are, but it’s incredible to see the lineup of the well-known, wide-ranging hosts. Dr. Dre hosts a show called “The Pharmacy” (of course), Elton John hosts “Elton John’s Rocket Hour,” rap duo Run the Jewels hosts “WRTJ,” and most recently announced, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend will host “Time Crisis with Ezra Koenig” (squeeeeal). Other artists who will have their own radio shows include Drake, Disclosure, Pharrell Williams, Jaden Smith (lol what?), St. Vincent, Ellie Goulding and more.
So will Apple Music with all of its bells and whistles conquer Spotify and all other streaming services? Beats the hell out of me (I’m sorry, I had to — my honest answer would be that I love Spotify and would never forsake it).