Two years ago Apple Music officially launched, alongside the debut of the service's 24/7 streaming radio channel Beats 1. In celebration of that anniversary, Beats 1 DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga have given an interview to Highsnobiety to discuss their career high points working on Beats 1, the evolving landscape of digital radio, and more.

Zane Lowe has spoken about his origins with Beats 1 and Apple Music in the past, and in today's interview he again references "perfect" timing in his move to Apple and hosting Beats 1. Lowe mentioned excitement about sharing new music with listeners -- from a live demo of Vince Staples' new record to discussing the Baby Driver soundtrack with Edgar Wright -- and said that he hopes Beats 1 is the "ultimate clubhouse for artists."

beats 1 zane lowe interview 01 1200x800

When I found myself in a room with Drake and Oliver and Future for the first time, talking about what OVO SOUND Radio would feel like, that was only a few weeks after I arrived. That was a pretty mind blowing experience to have. The quality and vision of that show. I get that feeling every time I turn on Beats 1 and Mike D is doing a radio show or Lorde is taking over the station and playing in a personal and talking about us in a personal and engaged way. Every time something exciting happens on Beats 1 we get closer to our goal which is to be the ultimate clubhouse for artists to be able to express themselves and enjoy the process of sharing music and sharing information.

Concerning Beats 1 and its musical genres, Darden mentioned that just because he's known as "the hip-hop guy" doesn't mean his show won't take the chance at highlighting other genres.

People think I’m “the hip-hop guy”, and I am that. But I’m also a music fan across the board. I’m amazed at how much great music is out there from all around the world. I get put on to new sounds from a myriad of genres and countries every day. There are tracks in other languages that I don’t understand, but I feel the message regardless. Beats 1 has definitely expanded my worldview.

When asked about the most difficult moment he's been faced with working on Beats 1, Lowe said it was deciding the basic definition of the service, mentioning that he asked himself, "...is this even radio?" With the rise of streaming services, like Apple Music, Lowe mentioned that the Beats 1 team had a chance to do something different with their version of traditional radio and decided to create a foundation of trust for artists that "let them drive their own conversation."

We had three months to build Beats 1 from scratch… the first question we asked on Day One was… is this even radio? Radio had been driving pop music in the world for 50 years, and for all of those years, that was the only way to get a hit record. I’m not sure that’s still the case. Radio listenership like that is declining and in some cases gone.

We had to face up to the reality that the old expectations may not fit the artist anymore. We have to trust the artists. Let them drive their own conversation. Trust that they know their audience. They know how to get the results. They know how this works. With that in mind, we built Beats 1, where artists can own their own real estate, drive their own message, satisfy their audience in their own voice, and hopefully, add value. Free has to lead somewhere. It has to collaborate. It has to build trust. And it’s working.

A few months after Apple Music launched, Beats 1 began saving replays of recent shows so listeners could revisit a segment that they missed at any time. Now, the "On Demand" section of Beats 1 includes recent shows, playlists, and a topic description for each of the DJ's shows after they air live.

Ending the interview, Lowe mentioned that even two years into the life of Beats 1, he's "never been more excited about where Beats 1 is at this moment, and this is just the beginning." Check out the full interview with Lowe, Darden, and Adenuga on Highsnobiety here.

Top Rated Comments

dominiongamma Avatar
56 months ago
Listened to it once then never again after that. Surprised Apple haven't got rid of it yet
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkermit Avatar
56 months ago
Do people really listen to that station? I'd be surprised if Apple kept it going for much longer.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
testcard Avatar
56 months ago
Unfortunately my religion forbids me from visiting a website called Highsnobiety.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brenster Avatar
56 months ago
Huge Apple Music fan here but have only dipped into Beats 1 a handful of times, each time coming away with the impression that it serves hip-hop and other urban type music exclusively. Like classical, jazz, metal, rock or the more interesting side of electronica and you're pretty much stuffed. Lowe's delivery of 'breathless superlative strewn' anticipation of every single new track got old very quickly.

I'm assuming that there is an audience for Beats 1 out there but I'm nowhere near being part of it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lunarworks Avatar
56 months ago
Huge Apple Music fan here but have only dipped into Beats 1 a handful of times, each time coming away with the impression that it serves hip-hop and other urban type music exclusively. Like classical, jazz, metal, rock or the more interesting side of electronica and you're pretty much stuffed. Lowe's delivery of 'breathless superlative strewn' anticipation of every single new track got old very quickly.

I'm assuming that there is an audience for Beats 1 out there but I'm nowhere near being part of it.
Beats 1 operates on a schedule. You should check it out. If you like rock and metal, Joshua Homme, Lars Ulrich, and Corey Taylor all have shows, and those shows are on-demand in the archives. There's shows that feature a variety of electronica, but maybe not niche stuff you're looking for.

As for jazz and classical, that audience is pretty much 99% incompatible with the rest of their station.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dragje Avatar
56 months ago
Been listening to Apple Music for about 2 years now, never once listened to Beats 1. Perhaps a good radio station for some, but it's not my cup of tea.

During this time Apple did changed Apple Music's interface for the better, but i.m.h.o there is still some work to do, like, a stand alone music app and the possibility perhaps to pay a little bit extra for a better kbps ratio to enable better quality music. Especially for those people that have faster connections at home.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
iOS 15 General Feature Yellow

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 6: SharePlay Disabled, Safari Redesigned and More

Tuesday August 17, 2021 2:12 pm PDT by
Apple released the sixth beta of iOS 15 just a week after the fifth beta, but the new update brings some of the most significant tweaks that we've seen to iOS 15 during the beta testing period. Safari Redesign Apple in iOS 15 beta 6 has added a toggle to move the Safari address bar to the top of the interface, which returns Safari to an iOS 14-like design and mitigates all of the Safari...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...