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Posts tagged with "Beats 1"

Apple Rebrands Beats 1 as Apple Music 1, Launches New Global Radio Stations with Fresh Hosts and Shows

Today Apple announced an expansion and rebranding for Apple Music’s radio efforts. The flagship worldwide radio station Beats 1 is being renamed Apple Music 1 while retaining the same content as before.

Joining Apple Music 1 in Apple’s lineup of global radio stations will be two new stations: Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country. The former is dedicated to well-known and well-loved songs from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s, while the latter highlights modern and classic country music.

Like Apple Music 1’s roster of hosts and presenters, which includes Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Brooke Reese, Apple’s two new stations will have daily on-air hosts as well. For Apple Music Hits this includes Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, and more; Apple Music Country will be hosted by Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, and Bree, among others.

One of the unique strengths of Apple Music 1, besides its strong team of hosts, is the periodic shows by artists such as Billie Eilish, Elton John, and Frank Ocean. Apple has assembled just as impressive an assortment of shows for its new stations. Per Apple’s press release, Apple Music Hits will feature exclusive shows from “Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Mark Hoppus, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor, Shania Twain, and more.” For Apple Music Country the list of shows is even longer, featuring:

Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Morgan Evans, Florida Georgia Line, Pat Green, Willie Jones, Chrissy Metz, Midland, Rissi Palmer, The Shires, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen, alongside exclusive shows from legendary producers and songwriters like Dave Cobb, Jesse Frasure, and Luke Laird, and journalist Hunter Kelly.

Apple Music hasn’t changed its radio product much over the years, so today’s announcements represent a significant move for the company. While I still wish the Music app provided better tools for informing me when a new radio show I may be interested in is coming up, such as push notifications as a show’s starting, perhaps today’s moves are just the beginning. Now that the content side of radio has been enhanced, perhaps this fall’s updated Music app will offer improvements to the software side of the radio experience.


Apple Music Honors Black Out Tuesday with Awareness Efforts, Alternate Programming

Today Apple Music has joined a unified effort in the music industry to raise awareness about the injustice of racism and show support for Black communities around the world. Black Out Tuesday is being observed in different ways by different organizations, but Apple Music’s approach involves a full-page takeover of the For You and Browse sections in the app, which currently feature a message of solidarity and a single option: Listen Together. Selecting this will begin playing a special radio stream celebrating Black artists.

Apple Music users will still be able to access their full Library today, as well as use the search option to discover new music. But for the remainder of the day, the standard recommendations from Apple’s staff, algorithmic playlists, and any other radio content including normal Beats 1 programming will all be unavailable.


Apple Music’s Beats 1 Introduces New Music Daily with Zane Lowe

On Friday, Apple Music’s Beats 1 debuted a new Zane Lowe show called New Music Daily featuring the best new music across several genres along with interviews and commentary designed to complement Apple Music’s playlist of the same name.

As described by Apple, New Music Daily is all about what is hot now:

Music moves fast. To keep up with hungry fans and tireless creators, Apple Music launched New Music Daily, our playlist for the latest and greatest must-hear songs from pop, hip-hop, Latin, and beyond. This show, broadcasting live on Apple Music every Friday, is the playlist brought to life: Hosted by Zane Lowe, it features interviews with today’s most important artists, sharp commentary, and, of course, all the new songs you need to hear right now.

The show streams live on Apple Music every Friday at Noon New York time and can be replayed later.

Lowe’s new show is a companion to Apple Music’s New Music Daily playlist, which is updated daily and is a rebranded version of its Best of the Week playlist. Listeners can visit a dedicated page in Apple’s Music app that collects the show and playlist as well as video interviews with recording artists in one place.

The inaugural episode of New Music Daily, which runs just over one hour, spotlights a wide range of music and interviews including appearances by Selena Gomez, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and an excerpt from a longer interview with Taylor Swift that will be released next week. New Music Daily’s Apple Music page also includes excerpts of upcoming video interviews with Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

In an interview with People.com, Lowe, who is Apple Music’s global creative director, expanded on his vision for how the playlist and new show will work together:

Our New Music Daily playlist was built in the image of the artist and the fan. Music is constant and it’s in the hands of the artists now. Artists don’t want to wait anymore, and we wanted a really big playlist that reflected that sentiment and could do it quickly. I’ll be in the studio with artists and I ask when they’re putting something out and they’ll say, “I don’t know, in an hour?” We’ve been clearing that space for artists for years, and with New Music Daily as a live show we’ll continue to event-ize music, bringing an audience around shared listening moments, and reflecting the way artists want to release music on their own terms.

One of the consequences of streaming music services is that the release of an album is often not the way people hear the latest music from their favorite artists anymore. Instead, musicians release a steady stream of singles and EPs, only occasionally collecting them as full-length albums. It’s the kind of continuous change that demands a different approach to how new material is surfaced.

Having listened to the first episode of New Music Daily, it strikes me as a formula that will work. The playlist currently includes 85 songs, which is a lot. What Lowe’s new show does is provide context through his interviews and commentary that serve as an entry point into the larger playlist. By sending listeners to the playlist for the latest tracks from pop culture phenomenons like Swift and Gomez, New Music Daily can help spread awareness of lesser-known, emerging artists that included too.

You can check out the first episode of New Music Daily that aired Friday here.


Matt Wilkinson Joins Beats 1’s Primetime Lineup

Serenity Caldwell, reporting for iMore on a major change to Beats 1’s primetime lineup:

Apple’s Beats 1 radio service (part of Apple Music) is shaking up its weekday primetime programming starting January 8, bringing a new DJ to its daily lineup and moving around its primetime shows.

Matt Wilkinson, who formerly hosted Beats 1’s weekly Saturday alternative music show, will now join Zane Lowe, Julie Adenuga, and Ebro Darden as a weekdaily presence on the network — he’ll be broadcasting live from London from 6AM-8AM ET Monday through Friday, and will have Mike D of the Beastie Boys on to celebrate his new show on January 15.

Wilkinson’s deep music knowledge (he’s the former NME New Music Editor) is a solid addition to Beats 1’s regular programming.

Here’s Caldwell again on the significance the announcement:

This is the first time since Beats 1’s launch in 2015 that the primetime lineup has changed significantly: Adding another London voice at the 6-8AM ET slot will nix many of the replays and countdown shows formerly occupying that space; in addition, Julie Adenuga is moving from 3PM ET to 9AM ET, with Ebro Darden bumping up to the 3PM ET slot from the 6-8PM ET evening beat. Beats Creative Director Zane Lowe will continue to hold his flagship 12PM ET slot.

I haven’t listened to Beats 1 much over the past year, but I’m going to check out Wilkinson’s new show (to get an idea of Wilkinson’s style, you can listen to his last show of 2017 – Episode 128 – here.)

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Spotify Launches Two New Radio Shows

Rich McCormick at The Verge:

Swedish streaming service Spotify is launching two new radio shows today, both of which feature musicians talking about the kind of music that they like listening to while they’re making their art. The first, AM/PM, will feature artists like electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre and Terry Hall of ska icons The Specials talking about the music they listen to in the mornings before work, and in the evenings after a day spent creating. The second, Secret Genius, speaks to the songwriters and producers behind major songs, and features the actually-pretty-well-known James Blake, among others.

Looks like Spotify’s “In Residence” radio shows which launched last year were successful enough for Spotify to commission these two new shows. The comparison to the radio shows on Beats 1 is unavoidable, but it’s a good move on Spotify’s part. They may not be for everyone, but those Beats 1 shows are one of the best benefits of the launch of Apple Music. Spotify’s radio shows aren’t live like some of those on Beats 1 are, but I don’t think that makes a great deal of difference to their appeal to listeners.

Speaking of live radio and Beats 1, I’d be very interested to find out how many people listen to Beats 1 live, compared to how many just listen to the recorded radio shows when it is most convenient for them.

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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.

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Quartz Analyzes a Month of Beats 1 Tracks

Fascinating findings by Quartz after collecting a month worth of songs played on Beats 1:

To get a sense of the station’s tastes and habits, we analyzed data on more than 12,000 songs played on Beats 1 from early July to early August. The song data was collected by Callum Jones, a programmer at Nitrous, who has open-sourced his tool over on GitHub. Jones also has a Twitter bot that automatically tweets whatever song is playing.

And:

Beats 1 has something that is rare in the world of digital music: scarcity. Listeners can’t choose a song and play it over and over. (They can do that elsewhere on Apple Music.) But curation doesn’t mean songs aren’t repeated. We counted 12,445 tracks but only 3,371 unique songs, meaning each track was played an average of 3.7 times. Eighteen of the 20 songs in the table above were played over 50 times.

“Edgy enough” seems like a fitting description. I’m an avid listener of recent releases, but I discovered a lot of new stuff with Beats 1 so far.

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Beats 1 to Exclusively Announce MTV VMA Nominees Tomorrow

Apple is continuing to put a big focus on Beats 1 as a platform to connect music fans and artists. Today, the company announced Beats 1 will exclusively announce the MTV VMA nominees tomorrow. Jordan Kahn writes at 9to5Mac:

The proof of that comes in the form of an announcement today that the station will exclusively reveal nominees for the upcoming Video Music Awards. Clearly Apple has partnered with MTV in order to be first to make the announcements, and it’s obvious from the effort that Apple hopes Beats 1 won’t just be the venue for new music, but also a source for music fans when it comes to news and other industry related events.

And on Twitter:

Just two weeks ago, we were talking about Apple Music as the new MTV. Pretty close as a start.

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Beats 1 Schedule Calendar

Created by Marc Boquet, this is an unofficial calendar for the schedule of Apple Music’s Beats 1. You can subscribe by visiting the link above on your Mac and iOS device, and then you’ll be able to check the schedule of upcoming shows directly from your calendar app of choice. Obviously, because this is an unofficial calendar, keep in mind that it may be subject to changes and inconsistencies.

Via Zac Cichy, who has been enjoying the ability to view the Beats 1 schedule on his Apple Watch. Handy, indeed.

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