Apple is rebranding Beats 1 as Apple Music 1, while also launching two new radio stations, the company said Tuesday. Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country will both feature their own exclusive radio shows.
Both new stations launch today, along with the renaming of Beats 1 as Apple Music 1.
“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,” said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music, Beats and international content, in a statement. “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.”
Apple Music Hits will predominantly play hits from the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s. Its regular radio hosts will include Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, Jenn Marino, Sabi, Nicole Sky and Natalie Sky, and George Stroumboulopoulos. There will also be special shows from the likes of Ari Melber, and special guest hosts like Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Mark Hoppus, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor and Shania Twain.
Apple Music Country, meanwhile, will spotlight country music. (Its launch comes the day after Apple announced a new Apple TV+ show called My Kind of Country that will focus on the country music genre.) Daily hosts include Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, Bree, Alecia Davis, Ward Guenther, Nada and Tiera. There will also be weekly shows from Ashley Eicher and Kelly McCartney, plus exclusive shows from top artists and producers.
Apple Music is taking its live radio to the next level
Apple launched its Beats 1 radio station in June 2015. It calls Beats 1 “the biggest radio station in the world,” beating (no pun intended) all other music stations when it comes to concurrent listeners. However, some people have called Apple out on this claim.
Additional radio stations have been rumored since shortly after Beats 1 launched. Apple gained licenses for up to five additional stations, although these remained MIA until now.
One other note of interest about today’s announcement concerns Apple’s switching of the Beats 1 name to Apple Music 1. Apple famously acquired the Beats brand with its $3 billion acquisition of the company in 2014. Beats’ software technology laid the basis for the launch of Apple Music. However, more recently, some have suggested that Apple could be looking to phase out the brand. In April, tipster Jon Prosser said Apple is looking to move on from the Beats name.