Apple has hired four producers from British radio station BBC Radio 1, as well as poaching its star presenter Zane Lowe.
Music Business Worldwide reports that there has been a mini exodus from Britain’s most popular radio station. Four producers have jumped ship to Apple, and will join the company after the station’s “Big Weekend” event in May.
One of the four people joining Apple is producer James Bursey, who worked as Lowe’s producer during his time at the station. Music Business Worldwide says that Bursey left Radio 1 on Friday and is ready to start immediately at Apple in Los Angeles.
Apple hired Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe in February, after a 12-year career at the station. He was known for interviews with stars including Eminem and Kanye West, as well as championing new music.
Two other Radio 1 producers reported to be joining Apple are Natasha Lynch and Kieran Yeates. They both focused on upcoming bands and new music during their time at the station. Lynch worked on the Huw Stephens show in 2011, which featured unsigned bands. And Yeates ran Radio 1’s BBC Introducing scheme, which was all about new music from undiscovered bands. The pair will reportedly start work in Apple’s London office in May.
Another hire that Apple has made for its streaming service is James Foley, who worked as head of editorial for French streaming company Deezer. Apple recently published job adverts for music journalists, who it presumably wants to hire to write original content for its streaming site. Among other qualifications and skills, the company says a potential candidate must be a “seasoned writer” with “deep contacts in the freelance world.”
Someone with knowledge of Apple’s hire of the Radio 1 producers told Business Insider that it was Lowe who picked out the team, as he knew them from his time at the station. Lowe apparently has a “sh*tload of autonomy” at Apple, and has been given the freedom to assemble his own team to take on rival streaming services like Spotify and Tidal.
Other sources have told us that Zane Lowe is serving as the liaison between high-profile musicians and Apple for the launch of its new streaming service. He has been contacting musicians and persuading them to create custom radio stations for the service. One source described him as the “mastermind” behind the upcoming iTunes relaunch.