Apple Inc. launched on Wednesday, June 24, a Beats 1 billboard advertisement in Times Square, New York City, prior to the streaming station’s release on June 30. The tech world learned it when one of the hosts of Beats 1, Zane Lowe, posted the ad image on Twitter. iOS 8.4 and 9 started to have a pre-roll audio clip from Lowe earlier this month within the Beats 1 station app. Beats 1 and Apple Music will launch this month-end to take the spots of Pandora and Spotify. Subscription rates are $9.99 for individual, and $14.99 for family.
Over the weekend, Taylor Swift brought Apple Music to the headlines with her protest on its three-month free trial that does not pay artists. The issue has been addressed, and indie labels are already giving their nods to the service.
Beats 1 is Apple Inc.’s 24/7 streaming station, which can be heard all over the world. The company discussed it during the unveiling of Apple Music in its developers conference earlier this month. 9to5Mac notes that the advert does not bear an Apple logo, just that of Beats, its launch date and the tagline “Worldwide. Always on.” The tech website comments that it is quite risky for Apple Inc. not to include its logo on the ad, though it could trigger curiosity from uninformed passersby.
Beats 1 Internet Radio will feature a 24/7 streaming radio worldwide with three live DJs – Zane Lowe from BBC Radio in Los Angeles, hip hop DJ Ebro Darden in New York and grime DJ Julie Adenuga from Rinse FM in London. All Apple Music users will be able to listen to the streaming radio stations starting June 30, even without a subscription.
While music services already abound, it takes a company as big as Apple Inc. to be noticed and used. Apple Music is an internet radio station, music video library and streaming song rolled into one. Apple Inc. launched the Beats 1 advertisement in Time Square as its way of making the upcoming music service known to many.
When Apple announced global radio station Beats 1 at WWDC, BBC reported that the radio industry had mixed reactions. BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said Apple’s move is intriguing and its offers, such as the disc jockeys who are the best in their field, are specialized ones. Cooper commented that for a tech firm who is known for changing the way people live with iPhones and iPads, entering the radio space is something that cannot be ignored. Many would like to know what it will do with its radio station.
Radio Today managing editor Roy Martin said radio and music are different. Radio stations offer local news too, like information on travel and entertainment while Beats 1 is just about music, not radio. Thus, it will not impact the radio stations at all, as people do not generally listen for the music if they listen to the local radio. Beats 1 may be putting specialist music stations like 6 Music, 1Xtra, Capital, Kiss or Radio 1 to risk, said Martin, but not Clyde 1, Radio Plymouth or The Bee.
Martin continued that for now, it is not clear what type of audience Apple Inc. is targeting for its music, though he believes they might be the younger ones. He surmised the iPhone maker will invest on Beats marketing and spend much to attract guest presenters, which is generally, a good news in the world of radio.
With its enterprise skills at the background, Apple may revolutionize the music industry. Forbes says, it gives a three-month free trial first which even those who already use Pandora, Spotify or Google Play would still be curious to try what it has to offer, and the duration is enough to make people realize that Apple is giving everything to them for free, which may interest them to subscribe.
The music industry is facing some challenges, like people not paying downloaded tracks. It needs a change, and Apple Inc. can offer that change. If Apple will gather subscribers, it will become a global leader in the music industry.
Apple Inc., which has just launched the Beats 1 advertisement in Time Square as one of its first steps in bringing out Apple Music to the world, will soon make use of its leadership by telling who is most listened to and liked. Just like app developers, top acts and artists will have their share of revenue from the streaming audience. Hence, Forbes points out that Apple Inc. may not only be a threat to Spotify or Pandora, but to music labels as well.
By Judith Aparri
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
9to5Mac: Apple debuts massive Beats 1 advertisement in Times Square ahead of June 30 launch
Cult of Mac: Apple unveils Beats 1 Times Square billboard
TechnoBufallo: Apple Beats 1 featured on world’s largest digital billboard
BBC News: Apple Beats 1: Why is Apple bothering with radio?
Forbes: Apple Music Is More Than Just A Spotify Killer, It Could End Music Labels Too
Photo courtesy of Brian Brantner‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License