I Listen to Apple Music’s Beats 1, Does Anyone Else?

I Listen to Apple Music’s Beats 1, Does Anyone Else?

When Apple Music launched Beats 1 in 2015, most industry insiders adopted a “wait and see” attitude. Apple made lofty claims that it was reinventing radio. For the first time (kinda) there was this station that was going to always be on, everywhere, all the time. Internet radio has been around for a while but what made Beats different is that it was only going to be available to Apple Music Subscribers. Apple, who revolutionised the music industry over a decade ago with iTunes recognised that services like Spotify, Pandora and other like were reshaping the landscape of how people consumed music and they had to act. They had to innovate.

Headed by former BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Zane Lowe, Beats 1 broadcasts from 3 locations mostly. London, LA and New York. It’s main presenters are Zane himself, Ebro from New York’s Hot 97 and from London’s Rinse FM Julie Adenuga .




But does anyone listen to Beats 1? Apple hasn’t released listening figures and added to that, only people in the Apple Eco System can listen. They are “on air” in over 100 countries, but do people listen? Today they launched in Turkey, but are people listening?

Personally, I listen to Beats in the morning here in Nairobi to get a sense of what’s happening on the UK scene with Julie Adenuga. This morning, I’ve listened to an interview with Plastician, a dope grime DJ and producer and also an interview with UK legend and one of my Favourite MC’s Kano. I now know he’s about to drop a new album on March 4th. Having partially grown up in the UK, I still get to hear the latest music without the regional bias and this is where I think Beats 1 is winning. You truly feel like you are listening to a Global Station. Yes Zane is in LA, Yes Ebro is in NY, Yes Julie is in London, but at no point when listening to Julie do I get a sense that she’s only broadcasting to London, or that since I am here in Kenya I am a “by the way” listener.

With their all star presenter line up, from Dre, to Drake, Pharrell et all Beats 1 is creating content that music lovers can relate to. With listening figures of traditional radio slowly diminishing, Apple Music may be on to something with Beats 1. Over 10 million paid subscribers to Apple Music means that the service is growing, how many of them listen to Beats remains to be seen. Content is King and Beats 1 is creating content. That’s undeniable.

Meanwhile in an on air sound clash battle with Julie Adenuga, Kano just selected Ting A Ling by Shabba Ranks. I approve of that, Julie, it’s your turn. I’m listening.

She picked “Groovy little thing” By Beres Hammond.


Wait a minute, Kano just chose “Give me a  try” Sizzla …. he’s back in it … and he’s followed it up with Ray Keith’s “Chopper” ….. ‘calling all junglists’

I’m done.


Jedi Master T

February 10th, 2016

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