Monday, June 29, 2015

Beats 1 & Exclusive Content

Beats 1, Apple's free streaming radio service, launches tomorrow.  Here's a trailer for it:

This looks pretty good - people having fun in a radio studio, making stuff that you can't find anywhere else, a bit like all the best radio stations do, but this time globally.

The line-up of shows looks imaginative too - Zane Lowe, poached from the BBC, Dr Dre's Pharmacy, and even Elton John's Rocket Hour, a mix of old and new tunes.

It's kind of like the BBC's 6 Music but for a younger, more hip hop audience.  It feels a bit like when new TV stations launched in the 90s - for example British Satellite Broadcasting, which had lots of experimental shows, that pretty much no one could see.

But this time anyone with an iOS device can theoretically listen, so it's going to be really interesting to see how it develops.  Remember that the Beats 1 radio service is the free product to lure people in to subscribe to the streaming service.

I've occasionally wondered why there isn't a successful music version of Netflix - making its own premium content, completely paid for - and I think the reason is that we attach more value to content we watch rather than listen to.

Beats 1 seems to be taking the 'premium, rare content' idea and really pushing it.  Tidal is also doing the same thing, but radio shows seems like a better way to do it than occasional exclusive tracks that will immediately get pirated.

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