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BBC Radio 1 “not scared” of Apple Music

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Beats 1

When Apple enters a product category, market disruption is a given. But is the new Beats 1 radio station striking fear in the heart of the BBC? Apparently not.

At least according to BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper, who brushed off the Apple Music launch in a recent interview.

I’m not scared of what they’ve got,” said Cooper. “I’m very intrigued by it, and it would be a fool that ignores them, because they’re something like a $109bn company, so of course you’re going to look at what they’re doing.”

Apple announced its new 24/7 radio station on June 8, revealing the service as part of its Music subscription service.

Beats 1 will operate three specialist music programmes headed up by three DJs, including Zane Lowe, an ex-Radio 1 DJ poached by Apple for the new platform.

Related: Apple Music vs Spotify

That doesn’t mean there’s bad blood between Apple and the BBC however, as Cooper points out.

“Hopefully the UK radio industry can work with Apple,” he says. “They’ve got a 24/7 global radio station and at the moment they’ve only announced three presenters.”

Cooper continued: “There’s a lot of content they’ll need to fill those hours, and who makes the best music radio content in the world? The BBC – so I’m looking forward to that call from Zane soon.”

The Radio 1 controller ultimately described Beats 1 as “good for the radio industry”, wheeling out the age old expression “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Apple Music is due to launch at the end of June on iOS. Beats 1 will be available for iOS users free of charge, but the full-fat music service will cost $9.99 per month – UK pricing is yet to be announced.

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