In a few days Apple customers worldwide will be able to tune in to a supercharged radio station, Beats 1, the “brainchild” of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. It aims to differentiate itself from other global radio stations by becoming a reflection of the rapidly changing world of pop, Zane Lowe, Britain’s most influential radio D.J. and now an Apple employee, tells the New York Times.
“Everyone keeps going to their devices because of fear of missing out,” he said. “I’m constantly going on Instagram, Twitter, wondering what’s going on in my friends’ lives. What am I missing? I want that for radio. What’s on right now, right now, that I didn’t know I wanted to listen to?”
Since radio is by nature an audio feed in constant flux, it fits the always-on mentality of the social-media era, Lowe says. To achieve that and to keep the fresh sound globally, he envisioned a radio station that would alternate one- and two-hour programming blocks by renowned broadcasters with those by musicians and celebrities, who will have their own shows.
Some of the names whispered to the New York Times have been teen actor Jaden Smith, the alternative singer St. Vincent, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, and the British electronic duo Disclosure. Also, Dr. Dre will have his own show, “The Pharmacy”, while Lowe will broadcast from Los Angeles on weekdays with other two professional D.J.s, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London.
Poring over Beats 1’s first-week schedule, Mr. Lowe was having mood swings. “The whole thing could be a total, abject disaster,” he said. O.K., but what might success look like? “When an artist goes on to have a brilliant career,” he answered, “and five years later we can look back and be proud of whatever role we had in that.”
Are you ready?