Apple gets serious about online radio? And join me in a webinar
· 3.8 minutes to read
Thought Apple wasn’t very keen on online radio? Yeah, me too. Apple Beats 1, the company’s radio station is five years old: it launched June 30, 2015. It was a difficult, eclectic, listen - and I suspected it was more of a tool for Apple to promote its relationships with music artists, rather than a thing normal people would actually listen to.
Now, Apple are getting serious - it’s now called Apple Music 1 (though the logo, correctly, calls it Apple Music 1 Radio). And they’ve added two more stations - Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country.
I’ve spent some time listening to Apple Music Hits, which is a much, much more accessible service. It seems to broken into short, one-hour, shows. I listened to Alanis Radio, presented by Alanis Morissette. This is a slickly edited piece of output - she introduces Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights explaining how the Brontë Sisters worked, and in the background, the short two-bar intro for the song was repeated as a music bed, allowing her to finish her story and then hit the vocals. There are no “ums”, no “ers”, no clutter - it’s been excellently polished and produced. But annoyingly, many of the tracks aren’t played in full for some reason - Wuthering Heights makes it to the instrumental break, and then Alanis Morissette jumps in to tell us a story about Paul Simon. The entire hour is unbranded as being on a radio station - instead, it’s “Alanis Radio”, and one suspects its built as a podcast-like on-demand service. (Of note: the word 'f*cked’ was also bleeped. Isn’t that ironic? Don’cha’think?).
Now-playing information works properly, with artwork switching as soon as new tracks start playing - rather different from the original incarnation of Beats 1, and something I wasn’t too impressed by.
These three stations are free for anyone with an Apple device - you’ll find them in the Apple Music app under the “radio” tab. As an alternative to mindless algorithm radio, they’re quite good.
Tomorrow, I’m speaking in a webinar about radio’s future. It’s free - you can register over here. Please join me, or I’ll be speaking to myself.
The most shocking audio stat of the year, and what it means for radio and podcasts - Tom Webster’s worked out how to write clickbait headlines. But, yes, it’s worth a read - things are changing in terms of radio consumption.
I’m sorry to read this about James Whale. An excellent broadcaster, who has been a great inspiration to me. I wish him well.
Decent radio is more than just show and go. A £1 week-long trial of Show Prep will make your show rather better.
Want to get into podcasting? Dave Jackson’s School of Podcasting is the thing. Dave’s a good man, has a sparkling sense of humour, and understands how stuff works.
I get paid by people all over the world, and TransferWise really helps. Proper bank accounts in the countries where you want to get paid; a Mastercard that works everywhere; and cheap currency transfers. This link gives you a fee-free transfer.
I use Sendy to send this mailing list out. It’s like MailChimp, but no monkeying around with high fees (it’s 100x cheaper).
Australians? I heartily recommend Up Bank as your new bank. Give the big-four the heave-ho. Here’s my review.
Has streaming killed the radio star? - this newsletter’s lazy Buggles headline. No, no it hasn’t.
Interesting to spot - Deezer has banned the word 'urban’ to describe Black music. Plenty of radio stations using that word - but Deezer claims it’s “outdated”.
It’s been good to speak at many different virtual conferences. Not the same, but at least some semblance of normality. Here’s Radiodays Africa’s final session, looking at where the future might take us. (And a writeup if you’d rather).
Sensible deal from Entercom to get their content on smart TVs. I’m still surprised at the amount of radio broadcasters out there who don’t understand the benefit of the television for trial and an additional listening location.
Next week, a free event for anyone interested in radio or podcasting in Australia. It’s part of my fancy new Podevents website, which contains a bunch of useful things for radio as well.
Great piece about naughty views on Twitter from Bob Hoffman. This is how any sensible media company’s social media policy should work.
Some slightly random but potentially interesting data into UK radio listening from YouGov