Two Year Anniversary of Beats 1 Celebrated in New Interview With DJs

Two years ago Apple Music officially launched, alongside the debut of the service's 24/7 streaming radio channel Beats 1. In celebration of that anniversary, Beats 1 DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga have given an interview to Highsnobiety to discuss their career high points working on Beats 1, the evolving landscape of digital radio, and more.

Zane Lowe has spoken about his origins with Beats 1 and Apple Music in the past, and in today's interview he again references "perfect" timing in his move to Apple and hosting Beats 1. Lowe mentioned excitement about sharing new music with listeners -- from a live demo of Vince Staples' new record to discussing the Baby Driver soundtrack with Edgar Wright -- and said that he hopes Beats 1 is the "ultimate clubhouse for artists."

Image via Highsnobiety
When I found myself in a room with Drake and Oliver and Future for the first time, talking about what OVO SOUND Radio would feel like, that was only a few weeks after I arrived. That was a pretty mind blowing experience to have. The quality and vision of that show. I get that feeling every time I turn on Beats 1 and Mike D is doing a radio show or Lorde is taking over the station and playing in a personal and talking about us in a personal and engaged way. Every time something exciting happens on Beats 1 we get closer to our goal which is to be the ultimate clubhouse for artists to be able to express themselves and enjoy the process of sharing music and sharing information.
Concerning Beats 1 and its musical genres, Darden mentioned that just because he's known as "the hip-hop guy" doesn't mean his show won't take the chance at highlighting other genres.
People think I’m “the hip-hop guy”, and I am that. But I’m also a music fan across the board. I’m amazed at how much great music is out there from all around the world. I get put on to new sounds from a myriad of genres and countries every day. There are tracks in other languages that I don’t understand, but I feel the message regardless. Beats 1 has definitely expanded my worldview.
When asked about the most difficult moment he's been faced with working on Beats 1, Lowe said it was deciding the basic definition of the service, mentioning that he asked himself, "...is this even radio?" With the rise of streaming services, like Apple Music, Lowe mentioned that the Beats 1 team had a chance to do something different with their version of traditional radio and decided to create a foundation of trust for artists that "let them drive their own conversation."
We had three months to build Beats 1 from scratch… the first question we asked on Day One was… is this even radio? Radio had been driving pop music in the world for 50 years, and for all of those years, that was the only way to get a hit record. I’m not sure that’s still the case. Radio listenership like that is declining and in some cases gone.

We had to face up to the reality that the old expectations may not fit the artist anymore. We have to trust the artists. Let them drive their own conversation. Trust that they know their audience. They know how to get the results. They know how this works. With that in mind, we built Beats 1, where artists can own their own real estate, drive their own message, satisfy their audience in their own voice, and hopefully, add value. Free has to lead somewhere. It has to collaborate. It has to build trust. And it’s working.
A few months after Apple Music launched, Beats 1 began saving replays of recent shows so listeners could revisit a segment that they missed at any time. Now, the "On Demand" section of Beats 1 includes recent shows, playlists, and a topic description for each of the DJ's shows after they air live.

Ending the interview, Lowe mentioned that even two years into the life of Beats 1, he's "never been more excited about where Beats 1 is at this moment, and this is just the beginning." Check out the full interview with Lowe, Darden, and Adenuga on Highsnobiety here.


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Apple Said to Add Beats 1 Broadcasting Booth to Iconic Fifth Avenue Store in New York City

Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will include a "very unique area" for broadcasting its Beats 1 radio station, as part of ongoing renovations, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York City

The person did not share any further details, but it's possible that New York City-based Beats 1 radio DJ Ebro Darden could broadcast at least some of his shows at the Fifth Avenue store once it reopens. Currently, he appears to broadcast from a studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

As usual, there is a chance this rumor is false, or that Apple's plans will change. However, our source is the same person that accurately revealed Apple's plans for its first retail store in Mexico, prior to any official announcement and over nine months before the Via Santa Fe location opened.

Apple Fifth Avenue, known for its iconic glass cube entrance, has been closed for renovations since January 20. The redesigned store will reportedly have over twice as much square footage, so there will likely be more than enough space for a dedicated Beats 1 broadcasting booth alongside the sales floor.

Beats 1 radio anchor Ebro Darden, based out of New York City

Beats 1 is Apple's internet-based radio station, broadcasted around the clock in over 100 countries around the world. It launched in tandem with Apple Music in June 2015. In addition to Darden, the station is anchored by former BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe, based out of Los Angeles, and London's Julie Adenuga.

Apple Music executive Larry Jackson recently described Beats 1 as "the biggest radio station in the world," and he claimed there is no other station in existence that has as many concurrent listeners at any given time.

Beats 1 can be listened to through iTunes on Mac or PC, or in the Apple Music app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Listening is free, with no Apple Music subscription required.

Apple has not indicated when its Fifth Avenue store will reopen, but renovations are likely to continue for several months. In addition to more space and a Beats 1 broadcasting area, the store will likely feature Apple's next-generation retail layout, in line with stores in Brooklyn, Brussels, Paris, San Francisco, and elsewhere.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores
Tags: New York City, Beats 1

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Beats 1 is ‘the Biggest Radio Station in the World’, Says Apple Music

Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine, Zane Lowe, Robert Kondrk, and Larry Jackson spoke to The Verge over the weekend about their work with the musician Drake and the success of Beats 1 radio station, which launched in tandem with the Apple Music app in 2015.

Republic Records told The Verge that Drake's new album More Life was streamed 300 million times worldwide in its first week on Apple Music. It has already eclipsed his previous album, Views, which was an Apple Music exclusive and streamed around 250 million times in its first week. More Life also streamed 89.9 million times during its first 24 hours, breaking single-day album streaming records for all music services.


The numbers for Drake's More Life are impressive in another way – the album is also available on Spotify, which has 100 million subscribers compared to Apple Music's 20 million. The Apple Music team puts the success of the release down to Drake's close collaboration with Beats 1 and his OVO Sound Radio show. The show has debuted several Drake records, including More Life on the most recent episode, which set the record for the most listened-to show.
"What we saw on Drake's radio show were TV numbers," Iovine told The Verge. "We learned so much from just building what Drake needed. He had the idea, we kind of just built and supported around him, and we've learned a lot from that, and the entire industry has learned a lot from that."
Jackson called Beats 1 "the biggest radio station in the world" and boasted that there wasn't another station in existence that has as many concurrent listeners, (although Apple declined to offer specific listener numbers).
"If you rewind back to July of 2015, and those records that rolled out like 'Back to Back,' — 'Hotline Bling' debuted on OVO Sound Radio first, 'Charged Up' debuted there first — all these records debuted in a space that was really still new and nascent, and [Drake] made it his own. You can glance over it, but we created this idea that was really great for him, and he took advantage of it," Jackson said. "Drake and Oliver and [Drake's other co-manager] Future [The Prince] were the first to do this with us."
Zane Lowe, head of Beats 1, said that what Drake had taught him in terms of the parameters of broadcasting was remarkable. "He knows what he's doing, and he knows his audience," said Lowe. "And he knows it's going to work when it's ready. The best thing that anyone — including myself — can do is get out of the way."

Kondrk described the relationship between Apple Music and Beats 1 like an amusement park — once users are inside the Apple Music app to listen to Beats 1, he said it was "only natural you'll stay in it to stream the songs afterwards".
"The music is debuting through OVO Sound Radio first, no one really ever leaves the amusement park, and that's why the numbers make sense," Kondrk says. "It's a new paradigm that we've really created here for someone like him to come in and be a genius and take full advantage of everything we have to offer."
Speaking more generally, Iovine reiterated his belief that Apple Music can't become just a "utility" and that the company had to stay nimble, while working with artists like Drake was key to avoiding that distinction. "Two years ago, people would've thought we were crazy with what we were doing with Drake. And we are starting things with other people that in two years will look as interesting as this."

You can read the full article over on The Verge.


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Apple’s Beats 1 Radio Station Launches in Singapore

Apple's 24/7 online radio station, Beats 1, finally went live in Singapore on Tuesday, almost two years after Apple Music first launched there (via Mashable).

The availability of Beats 1 is notable for a country in which iPhones usually launch the same day as in the U.S., and where Apple's streaming music service has proved very popular since its debut in 2015, when it went live in over 100 countries worldwide.


The lack of Beats 1 in Singapore until now has been a source of frustration among users, given that the station has been streaming to other countries in the region, such as Thailand and the Philippines, since that time.

At present, Beats 1 remains unavailable in the Bahamas, Bahrain, Burkina-Faso, China, Egypt, Jordan, the Lebanon, Mozambique, Namibia, the UAE and Qatar.


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