Apple’s creation of the Beats 1 radio station has been one of the best parts about the company’s new Apple Music streaming service, but it might not be Apple’s only station for much longer.
As part of the deal Apple signed with major labels ahead of launch, Apple Music has the option to expand its lineup of Beats radio stations nearly at will, according to a new report citing sources with knowledge of the situation.
“Apple has licenses for up to five additional stations like Beats 1, without having to renegotiate with the labels,” reports The Verge’s Micah Singleton, who’s had several music industry scoops regarding the newly launched streaming service.
The terms of the deal mean Apple could launch a Beats 2 station in Australia, Asia or anywhere else Apple wants in order to provide more live radio throughout the day. Beats 1 currently broadcasts live only 12 hours per day.
It appears Apple is definitely considering an expansion of Beats radio with new stations, according to some domain names the company has already registered. MacRumors discovered the company already owns beats2.com.cn, beats2.hk, beats3.sg, beats4.com.ru, beats5.com.cn and a few others, pointing to the possible launch of specialized stations for markets in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Russia.
Despite the service’s rocky start, music labels have been “pretty pleased” with Apple Music so far, and for good reason: It pays a higher per-play rate than Pandora. Music downloads on iTunes haven’t dropped off a cliff since the service launched, although a sharper decline in downloads could loom if Apple successfully converts free users into paid subscribers once the Apple Music trial period ends.
Source: The Verge