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Beats 1 is a 24/7 music radio station owned and operated by Apple Inc. It is accessible through iTunes on a computer, and Apple Music on a smartphone or tablet.

Beats 1
Beats 1 logo.svg
Broadcast areaOver 100 countries[1]
SloganWorldwide. Always on.
First air dateJune 30, 2015; 4 years ago (2015-06-30)
FormatFreeform radio, rhythmic contemporary, urban contemporary
OwnerApple Inc.

The station airs a mix of pop, rap and indie music. Prime-time presenters include Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, Julie Adenuga and Matt Wilkinson.[2][3]

Beats 1 is streamed at 64kbit/s and 256kbit/s, utilising HTTP Live Streaming protocol and the HE-AAC audio codec.


Apple bought audio equipment maker Beats Electronics in 2014, which included the ownership of Beats' former music service Beats Music,[4] and made Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers responsible for the iTunes Radio service.[5] Business Insider later reported that Apple was planning to merge the two services. Apple also hired Zane Lowe as a music curator.[6]

The day of Beats 1's launch, The Guardian revealed that they had been given pre-recorded examples of Beats 1 programming, and said it "suggests an eclectic mix of programming to fill the 24-hours-a-day of broadcasting."

On September 29, 2015, Zane Lowe said he wasn't sure that Apple Music needed Beats 1, but said "I hope that there’s a place for it."[7]

In December 2015, rumors spread that Apple would expand on the Beats 1 brand and give it sister stations, after Apple registered trademarks for four additional Beats stations.[8][9][10][11]

In September 2016, Apple refreshed the Apple Music interface with the release of iTunes 12.5 and iOS 10. Beats 1 reportedly became harder to get to, due to the clunky interface of iOS 10's Music app.[12]

In March 2017, Apple claimed that Beats 1 was "the biggest radio station in the world" and beat all other music stations in concurrent listeners.[13]


Reception for the Apple-run station has been mixed. Quartz analyzed the track list of songs that were aired on Beats 1 in its second week. "Though Beats 1 is an eclectic mix of genres, some listeners have complained that it plays too much hip-hop." However, they did note that "there is a reasonable amount of diversity..."[14]

Mashable complained of "dynamic-range compression, which squashes the volume range of audio" and also said, "The variety can be a blessing and a jumps all over the musical spectrum...If I wasn't committed to listening to nothing but Beats 1 for this review, I would have turned it off."[15]

9to5Mac had a generally positive review of the station, saying, "Although Beats 1 is advertised as a 24/7 station, it isn’t really true. The schedule is set up on a 12 hour basis, so for the other 12 hours it plays a recording of the last 12 hours...This is frustrating for me, being based in the UK. If I listen in the afternoon and in the following morning, I am likely to hear the same shows repeated...In summary, Beats 1 as a concept is great... It needs some work on the software side and the production side to make it really shine."[16]

Jason Cipriani of Fortune wrote, "I haven’t liked every song played on Beats 1, but the personal bond I instantly felt with each DJ has been strong enough for me to resist the urge to go back to a lifeless algorithm."[17]

Billboard said, "the tech community has been heaping praise on Beats 1...Internet-savvy people have fallen head over heels for old-school monoculture."[18]

Rob Price of Business Insider said, "So far, I've loved it. I was never much of a radio listener before, and I've enjoyed the eclectic selection it has thrown up."[19]

Kirk McElhearn wrote, "Beats 1 radio is clearly a loss-leader. Apple has designed it to draw people into Apple Music and get them interested. But the station is designed for just one demographic: the young, pop/rock/hip-hop listener. As such, it’s a non starter for a lot of Apple Music customers, and that’s a shame."[20]

The Guardian's review heavily criticized Jaden Smith's MSFTS Frequency program and A-Trak's show Day Off, but was generally positive of their other programming.[21]

After Larry Jackson, Apple Music's Head of Programming, claimed Beats 1 is the number one music station worldwide, warned readers of believing Apple's claims without listenership numbers.[22]


Beats 1 broadcasts a mix of music focusing on new music and artists. Unlike the playlists for the "stations" on iTunes Radio, The Next Web claims, "The overarching aim of Beats 1 is to curate cool new music, whether it be new talent or fresh music from established artists."[23] Brooke Reese hosts a show called Chart, which has music premieres[24] and countdowns of popular music[25] in general on Apple Music. It features both full songs in addition to snippets and previews.[26] However, most shows focus on specific music genres or musical cultures.

Beats 1 aired Apple's annual Apple Music Festival (which was formerly known as the iTunes Festival)[27] as well as interviews with popular American music artists such as[28] Lady Gaga,[29] Bruno Mars[30] and Chance the Rapper.[31] Apple Music Festival was cancelled in 2017. Beats 1 and Apple Music as a whole wanted to focus more on introducing new artists and creating original content.[32]

Beats 1 also lets some musicians host their own shows on the station. In an interview with Digital Trends' Keith Nelson Jr., Zane Lowe praised the format, saying, "We’ve been overwhelmed great the artists are at doing it."[33]

Sister stationsEdit

In 2015, Apple secured trademarks allowing them to create up to four sister stations for Beats 1,[34][35][36] however, Apple has not yet launched these stations or announced plans to launch more Beats-branded stations.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Availability of Apple Music, Apple Music Radio, and iTunes Match".
  2. ^ Sisario, Ben (2015-06-25). "Zane Lowe, the D.J. Scratching Out Beats 1 for Apple". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  3. ^ "Beats 1 brings Matt Wilkinson into its primetime lineup". iMore. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  4. ^ Karp, Hannah; Dezember, Ryan; Barr, Alistair (2014-05-30). "Apple Paying Less Than $500 Million for Beats Music Streaming Service". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  5. ^ Wakabayashi, Hannah Karp and Daisuke. "With Apple-Beats Deal Complete, Ian Rogers To Run iTunes Radio". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  6. ^ "What we're hearing about the new music-streaming service Apple is developing in secret". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  7. ^ "Zane Lowe: 'I'm not sure that Apple Music needs Beats 1'". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  8. ^ "Beats 1 to Get Sister Stations, If Trademark Filings Are Any Indication". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  9. ^ Rogelet, Sylvain. "Quatre nouvelles radios pour Apple ?". Consomac. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  10. ^ Times, Tech (2015-12-31). "Apple Music To Add 4 New Beats Radio Stations, What Genres And Regions Could Their Formats Cover?". Tech Times. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  11. ^ Rossignol, Joe. "Apple Files Trademarks for Beats 2, 3, 4, and 5 Radio Stations". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  12. ^ Miller, Chance (2016-10-13). "Comment: Beats 1 station deserves an Apple Music-like revamp in year 2". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  13. ^ "Beats 1 is 'the Biggest Radio Station in the World', Says Apple Music". Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  14. ^ Sonnad, Nikhil. "We analyzed a month of Beats 1 tracks to figure out Apple's taste in music". Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  15. ^ Perkins, Chris. "I listened to Beats 1 for a week and all I got was a headache [REVIEW]". Mashable. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  16. ^ Mayo, Benjamin (2016-01-19). "Do you listen to Beats 1? Here's what Apple can do to improve its radio station & encourage more people to tune in". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  17. ^ "Why Apple's Beats 1 is music streaming done right". Fortune. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  18. ^ "Beats 1, Apple's Radio Station, Looks Like It's A Hit -- and Maybe a New Digital Direction". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  19. ^ "Here's what people are saying about Beats 1, Apple's new global radio station". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  20. ^ McElhearn, Kirk (2015-07-27). "We've Got Beats 1 Radio, but What About Beats 2, Beats 3, Etc.?". Kirkville. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  21. ^ Evans, Rhiannon (2015-09-02). "What happens when you listen to Beats 1 radio for 24 hours? Lots and lots of Drake". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  22. ^ "Is Beats 1 really "the biggest radio station in the world"?". 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  23. ^ Swanner, Nate (2015-09-29). "Zane Lowe is crazy if he doesn't think Apple Music needs Beats 1". The Next Web. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  24. ^ "Halsey Drops New Track 'Now Or Never' [LISTEN] –". Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  25. ^ "Living through the first 24 hours of Beats 1 radio". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  26. ^ "One station to rule them all? The verdict on Beats 1's first month". DIY. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  27. ^ "Apple's rebranded Music Festival was livestreamed on Beats 1". Engadget. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  28. ^ "What Apple's Beats 1 Means for Your Radio Brand | Mark Ramsey Media LLC". Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  29. ^ "Don't Compare Lady Gaga To Madonna (Or Anyone Else), Because She Says So". MTV News. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  30. ^ Guide, Game & (2016-11-02). "Bruno Mars Failure Lead Him To His Success: Find Out How He Coped With Failure". Gamenguide. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  31. ^ "Watch Chance the Rapper's Full Interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 - Noisey". Noisey. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  32. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "Beats 1 radio's Zane Lowe on superstar DJs, exclusive releases, and the age of curation". Digital Trends. 2017-06-11. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  34. ^ "Beats 1 to Get Sister Stations, If Trademark Filings Are Any Indication". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  35. ^ "Apple Files Trademarks for Beats 2, 3, 4, and 5 Radio Stations". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  36. ^ "Apple files trademark applications for Beats 2, 3, 4 and 5 radio stations". Retrieved 2017-12-20.

External linksEdit