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Zane Lowe Talks Beats 1’s First Weeks

Good interview with Apple’s Zane Lowe on Billboard. Sounds like he’s in a charge of a lot of aspects of Beats 1, with Trent Reznor providing overall vision and strategy, and artists having pretty much carte blanche for their own shows.

Beats 1 is supposed to be formatless, but there do seem to be parameters to what’s played. How would you define the Beats 1 sound?

The personality of the station is developing over time. We started with a selection of records. That came down to four or five of us going, “What’s popping?” Then you ask around about the artist, do a bit of due diligence. After the first week, it was really exciting to hear how it all fit together, but also at times it was jarring. For instance, we would come out of big shows by Q-Tip or Disclosure, and the first song was really slow – you’re immediately losing the impact you’ve gained from the previous song. So we made some changes. We also noticed in the first week people listened for really long amounts of time, which meant songs got tired quickly, so we revised our rotations. And we’re working on a replay service and we want to get full on-demand ready.