When Apple Music debuted earlier this year, their big party trick was Beats 1, the “always-on global radio station” curated by ex-BBC Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe. When it launched a posited that if there was a “Beats 1,” then the logical assumption might be the eventual arrival of a “Beats 2,” a “Beats 3” and so on. After all, that’s how the hierarchy of BBC radio stations work (Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, etc.).
I might have been right. Digging deeper into the agreements Apple made with the record labels, they have the option of launching a total of five online radio stations without having to go through the hassle of reopening negotiations. And according to (still unsubstantiated) reports, Apple Music is set to roll out four more “always-on global radio stations.” A fan site in France says at least one will debut in the spring.
So what forms will these new stations take? Again, we can look at the BBC for possible answers. Radio 1 is a straight-ahead CHR station, not terribly different from the style and presentation of Beats 1 (Radio 1 is augmented by 1X–1 Extra–for DAB listeners). Radio 2 is softer with more of an adult contemporary feel. Radio 3 focuses on “serious music”–classical, really–while Radio 4 is mostly about news. Radio 5 Live is the Beeb’s talk station, which has a companion station that deals with nothing but sports.
Then we get to the BBC’s digital offerings, beginning with 6 Music, a very solid music fan’s radio station (think of Mojo magazine with a lot of contemporary indie thrown in.) Radio 7 is now known as “Radio 4 Extra,” which expands on its more highbrow entertainment offerings and is now heard as a DAB broadcast.
Apple Music won’t copy the BBC lineup verbatim, of course, but I can see a hip-hop station, something for EDM fans, a 6 Music-like indie station and maybe something uber-mainstream, just to lure in casual music fans who are a bit skeptical of this whole streaming thing.
Apple! If you’re going to the 6 Music thing, call me, okay?
(Via The Daily Mail)