Can Apple make radio cool again?
The iPhone maker is betting it can with Beats 1, the brand new radio station it hopes millions of people around the world will want to listen to every day. It’s free to listen to, even if you don’t pay the $US10 per month for Apple’s streaming music service.
The company hired three famous DJs to helm its live, 24-hour broadcast: Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga.
The three personalities are going to curate the songs that get played, score exclusive interviews with artists like Eminem, and if Apple gets its way, hopefully capture a massive, global audience.
When it was reported earlier this year that Apple had managed to lure Zane Lowe away from the BBC, the writing was on the wall: whatever new music service it was working on was going to be a big deal.
The New Zealand-born DJ gained global recognition after becoming the host of BBC Radio 1 in 2002. He's since helped launch artists like the Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran, and Adele. He's also known for scoring exclusive interviews with high profile artists like Kanye West.
He's also a Grammy-nominated producer who worked on Sam Smith's debut album and has played DJ sets at music festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury. For a while he had a series on the BBC's Radio 1 dedicated to what he considered the best albums of all time. For a sense of his musical taste, check out the list on Wikipedia.
'Everyone keeps going to their devices because of fear of missing out,' Lowe recently told The New York Times in an interview. '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?'
Lowe will lead the Beats 1 broadcast out of his studio in Los Angeles.
You can follow him on Twitter: @zanelowe
'I'll bring the attitude and music from NYC to the world. If it's hot in the club or the streets, I've got you covered.'
That's Ebro Darden's manifesto on Apple's website for his role on Beats 1. Before joining Apple, Darden led programming for the New York's Hot 97, one of the oldest hip-hop radio stations in existence.
Called an 'important gatekeeper' of hip-hop music, the sometimes controversial DJ is known for calling it like it is in artist interviews and having his ears to the streets.
He'll continue to be based in New York City as part of Beats 1.
'The perspectives that come from living in New York are unlike anywhere else on Earth, and those perspectives are necessary to the balance of hip-hop,' he told NPR. 'I also think that the environment of living in New York and the sounds that come out of New York are necessary to the hip-hop experience.'
Follow him on Twitter: @oldmanebro
While not as pre-established as Lowe and Darden, Julie Adenuga has quickly made a name for herself as a DJ on London's Rinse FM afternoon show.
The 26-year-old's radio career didn't start until 2010, but the 26-year-old and her first co-host Sian Anderson 'blazed in with a style that made you feel like you were kicking back with a best mate,' according to The Fader.
She also hosted an online TV show called 'Play It' in the UK that put the spotlight on local artists. To get a feel for her laid back interview style, check out her chat with the British electronic duo Disclosure.
'My vision is to do things that bring people together,' she told Hook LDN a few months ago. 'People in general, all human beings.'
Follow her on Twitter: @julieadenuga