Zane Lowe on Beats 1: ‘Time will tell’ if Apple Music really needs us.

In a Radio Festival interview in London by Zane Lowe‘s former boss, Lowe told Radio 1 head Ben Cooper that Beats 1 is like a new-born baby.

We’ll grow up, but right now we’re three months old, and babies make a lot of noise, they look at the world all wide-eyed and they shit everywhere. That’s kind of what Beats 1 is, it’s very, very new, 13 weeks man, it’s crazy. It’s all new and weird – and no rules man, no rules.

He said that despite the high-profile nature of the station, he wasn’t taking its future for granted. Asked why Apple Music needs Beats 1, Lowe said he wasn’t sure that it did …

Time will tell. We’ve been going three months. For me to sit here and go, Here are 10 reasons why Apple needs Beats 1 would be to suggest that we have the answers. I don’t have the answers. We’re making it up as we’re going along. I hope there’s a place for it, I feel right now there is, it’s absolutely working right now, but this is a work in progress and overtime we’ll find out why Apple Music needs Beats 1

The decision to leave Radio 1 had not, he said, been an easy one.

I said yes, and then I said no, and then I said yes, and then I said I’m not sure. Because relocation isn’t cut and dry, and leaving the BBC is not cut and dry; you don’t take that decision lightly at all.

One difference had been that at Radio 1 he was given daily listener numbers, while Apple doesn’t do that. The company told him not to worry about numbers, but simply to “go out and make noise.”

The key to making a station work globally, said Lowe, was to make it all about the music.

We know Tokyo and Mexico City love Beats 1, so we’ve found a language that is common, and I believe that language is music. I loved waking up and listening to a good breakfast show when I was living in London, but every time I hear someone talk to a reality TV star, or talk about what’s in the papers, you’re off message from what I want, which is music. So I put the spotlight entirely on music. I’m bringing it back to music every single time.

The full interview, over at Music Week, is well worth a read.

Apple Music is facing its biggest test to date, as initial three-month free trials end and the company will find out how many of its customers choose to pay for the service. Poll suggests around half of you are – but that’s of course a sample heavily skewed toward Apple fans.


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