Why Apple's Beats 1 Radio Has Me Completely Hooked

Why Apple's Beats 1 Radio Has Me Completely Hooked

Apple Music is similar to already existing services like Spotify, Pandora, Hungama, Rdio, Gaana and Saavn in many ways, but there's one thing that makes it really stand out. That's Apple's 24x7 live radio channel Beats 1. Apple leverages the brand value of Beats and its pull with popular artists like Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jimmy Iovine, and Elton John and the result is the best radio station I've listened to.

The programming on Beats 1 is so good that I am totally hooked to it now. Apple has hired three professional Disk Jockeys (DJs) - Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga playing from Los Angeles, New York, and London respectively. The rest of the slots are filled up by exclusive hosts including musicians such as A-Trak, Disclosure and Ellie Goulding, and with recurring shows like Jaden Smith's MSFTS Frequency and OTHERtone by Pharell Williams (incidentally Pharell's latest single Freedom was featured first on Apple Music). If you want to know which artist is live at what time you can visit the official Tumblr page for more information.

(Also see: How to Request a Song on Beats 1 Radio)

The 24x7 format of Beats 1 allows for a lot of variety to be squeezed in. Have you ever played GTA? If yes, you know how there are multiple radio stations with each one catering to a different genre of music; basically Beats 1 is all of GTA's radio stations combined in one. The only difference is that with Beats 1 you don't get satirical radio commentary.


On the other hand, the DJs on Beats 1 are wonderfully fresh and have impromptu conversations that elevate the listening experience to a whole new level. I missed the Zane Lowe's interview with Eminem (incidentally available on YouTube as an audio-only stream), but managed to catch Jaden Smith's first ever broadcast of MSFTS Frequency. The young star invited his superstar father Will Smith on the show and their refreshingly casual conversation had me in splits. At one point, Will Smith trolled his son on the show by replying with an emphatic 'No' to one of his son's elaborate questions. It was hilarious. What's better is that Will Smith also announced that he is collaborating with Drake on a project therefore providing fodder for all the entertainment magazines looking for an interesting scoop.

(Also see: Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio: 10 Things to Know)

I do have a few gripes with Apple Radio though. Despite having a platform that can potentially include a wide variety of genres, it felt like Apple was only playing songs from EDM and Pop genre, at least for the first two days. That's changed for now, so let's see how it goes. Also, Beats 1 needs a very stable Internet connection for it to run without any hiccups. A lot of users (including me) have experienced dropped connections on multiple occasions.

Despite these teething troubles, I have high hopes for Beats 1 and Apple Music. Taylor Swift may have written a letter expressing her discontentment over Apple's policy of giving 3-months of free subscription without compensating artists during this period, but the fact of the matter is that Apple retracted that policy immediately and Swift's latest album 1989 is now available to listeners first on Apple Music. Maybe she might actually end up on Beats 1 soon.

(Also see: How to Cancel Apple Music Subscription Auto Renewal)

It goes to show that Apple is keen on serving both the listeners and artists with quality music. I think Beats 1 is the future of radio and Apple has once again revolutionised the music industry with a small tweak to the business of streaming music. That said, there is still a long way to go for a polished experience. I am very hopeful because if there's one thing Apple can do really well, it is refine an experience.


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Further reading: Apple, Apple Music, Beats 1, Beats 1 radio
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