Almost exactly six years after Apple bought Beats, and five years after it launched Beats 1, they’ve renamed the radio station Apple Music 1. And for the first time they are adding two additional stations, Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country
This is good news in my opinion.
Beats 1 may have appealed to some but for me the focus on hip hop (which I’ve never liked in any form) meant I never listened to it. I love county music and hope they also diversify the main station a bit.
Since these are worldwide stations I wonder how popular Country is. If anything I’m surprised they didn’t launch a Chinese Pop station, since China is the #1 market for iPhones in the world.*
It’s also a bit surprising they didn’t follow with a pattern of numbering the stations.
*(Yes it’s true. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed in January that there were 780 million activated smartphones in China in 2015 with iPhones accounting for approximately 17% of the market. That 131 million beat the 100m users in the USA.)
I’m British and live in Spain, and country music is extremely popular here. Spaniards think it’s the best export of the USA music-wise (at least in my age group), despite the fact that they don’t understand the verses!
I had an irrational hatred of Country as a kid but was forced to reconsider when one of my heroes at the time, Elvis Costello, put out a completely unironic (but so-so) country solo album in 1981 made with session musicians in Nashville. And then I listened to some roots-rock/county like Lone Justice. Today I like some Country but I can’t stand the glossy-sheened pop-Country that’s on all the Country-specific radio stations. Occasionally I’ll listed to SomaFM’s Boot Liquor stream.
I’ve wanted a station like Hits ever since this started, so I hope I like it.
I unashamedly love the music, but I miss the human side of radio when listening to playlists.
I can’t stand the country-pop bands either.
My favourite country music is The Cadillac Three - which is more a crossover of rock n’ roll and country. I also listen to everything from Dolly Parton to Willie Nelson, there are so many great commercial and less mainstream country tunes.
I hope the new station reflects this and not just the monotonous pop tracks.
I grew up listening to Elvis Costello too, and still have his tracks on heavy rotation! Pump it up is in my all time top 10 for sure.
Just hopped over for a quick listen - got what seemed like a prerecorded Carrie Underwood celeb DJ show (despite Apple Music saying it was Live), playing 5-second snippets of Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, GnR… then playing her own song ‘Southbound’.
The Apple Music Hits station seemed a bit more promising - I clicked over into the middle of ‘Everything is Everything’ from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Hosted by Toronto DJ George “Strombo” Stroumboulopoulos, who then segued into an interview with someone from Blink-182.
I liked the aesthetic of Beats 1 (especially Julie’s show and any other time they played grime) but I didn’t put it on that often so now I feel bad.
Not a big fan of the rename, but hopefully the station will stay opinionated and let the new stations provide options. or the country station so far (we play a lot of Willie, Dolly, Hank Williams, etc., alt-country and other contemporary stuff like red dirt. So I’m confident we’ll find something we like. Good suggestions up above. American roots and western music is indeed one of our best exports!)
Anyway, more music is always a good thing.