The column is shorter than short today, but we promised a full complement of headline news come Monday. Meantime, Apple flexes its muscle. It's good news for our boy Strombo, not so good for music radio and affirms the tech company's commitment to offering a wide palette of sounds that aren't orchestrated using AI or bundled in playlists. Read on...
Apple Music Radio has announced the launch of two new global radio stations: the self-explanatory Apple Music Country, and Apple Music Hits that will focus on the music of the ’80, the ‘90s and 2000s. At the same time, it has rebranded its global flagship station Beats 1 as Apple Music 1. The refinements reinforce the brand’s music subscription service, give it a distinct edge over competitors’ playlist formats, and place terrestrial and satellite radio in its crosshairs.
Apple Music Hits will be helmed by daily on-air hosts George Stroumboulopoulos (2 pm PST), Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, Jenn Marino, Sabi, Nicole Sky and Natalie Sky who will each offer original programming. The format also includes shows from artists such as Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Mark Hoppus, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor, and Shania Twain.
The Country roster includes singer Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, Bree, Alecia Davis, Ward Guenther, Nada, and Tiera, plus weekly shows from Ashley Eicher and Kelly McCartney. Carrie Underwood and Kelsie Ballerini are also named as occasional show hosts.
Giving some corporate perspective to the rebrand, Apple VP Oliver Schusser has this to say: “For the past five years, if ever there was a meaningful moment in music culture, Beats 1 was there bringing human curation to the forefront and drawing in listeners with exclusive shows from some of the most innovative, respected, and beloved people in music. Now, 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.”
Chiming in, Apple Music’s global creative director and host Zane Lowe adds: “I’m an obsessive music nerd. I love searching for the most exciting new artists and playing them right alongside the most essential, established artists of our time because great music does not know the difference and Apple Music fans just want to hear great music. That’s what Apple Music radio is all about.”
Apple Music is now available in 165 markets.