Apple Music Rebrands Beats 1 Radio


Isabelle Schlegel

(Cartoon by Isabelle Schlegel | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Hannah Keating, Arts Editor


Whether it’s something you turn on in the car on a drive or if you have a favorite station with a host you keep returning to, radio plays a huge role in how we consume music, even in the era of streaming services. Apple Music recognized this during the transitions of its platform by establishing its own radio station five years ago, creating Beats 1 Radio – a 24/7 radio station hosted by Zane Lowe. Now, in an effort to expand their influence on music and music listeners, Apple Music has rebranded this station and introduced several new stations to their radio lineup. Beats 1 is now Apple Music 1, the poster child of the broadened Apple Music X which now features two new stations – Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country. 

But why the push to radio? An effort towards a seemingly archaic technology may appear like backsliding in this new era of streaming. Oliver Schusser, Vice President of Apple Music, describes the move in a press release saying, “Apple Music radio provides an unparalleled global platform for artists across all genres to talk about, create, and share music with their fans, and this is just the beginning. We will continue to invest in live radio and create opportunities for listeners around the world to connect with the music they love.” In an algorithmically driven music world where the majority of listening relies on choice – whether it is curated playlists or individual recommendations – it seems as though there is merit in returning to an old tradition of radio hosts playing songs and inviting guests to appear live. 

Now, Apple Music has that flexibility, especially given the addition of two stations of different genres. Apple Music Hits presents a conglomeration of the beloved music favorites from the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, and will be hosted around the clock by radio personalities like Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, Jenn Marino, Sabi, Nicole Sky and Natalie Sky, and George Stroumboulopoulos. It seems like a great competition to traditional stations, making access to current chart-topping songs easier.

The unique Apple Music Country station highlights popular artists in the genre, presenting weekly shows with icons such as Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Morgan Evans, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood and more. With the inclusion of non-stop music and interviews from country music producers, songwriters, performers and enthusiasts, this station will probably change the landscape of country music listening. 

The host of the now-former Beats 1 Radio, Zane Lowe, will continue to host Apple Music 1, managing the station on a similar platform but most likely with more traction. “Apple Music is home — it’s home to artists, it’s home to fans, and it’s home to incredible music,” said Lowe in a statement

The new Apple Music radio family looks incredibly cohesive, with hosts and guests lined up to share air time, appear on one another’s platforms and continue to promote this return to a traditional method of music consumption in an entirely new way. Though I am a Spotify user myself, I see the appeal in tuning into a radio station that, while not algorithmically attempting to understand my interests, gives me good music and a charismatic host to listen to at the tap of a button. 

You can listen to the Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits or Apple Music Country radio stations on any device with Apple Music or through the website.


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