Zane Lowe to front Apple radio station

Beats 1 will be free with the technology giant's new subscription streaming service

When Zane Lowe left Radio 1 for Apple last year, there was much speculation about what role he might play.

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Turns out, he’s going to be a DJ. For a change. 

Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Beats 1 will be a 24-hour global radio station broadcasting as part of their Apple Music streaming service. Basically, it’s Spotify with some differences. Both Spotify and Apple Music have a free option: on Spotify, the music is interrupted by adverts, on Apple Music, free users can only listen to radio. Both also give unlimited streaming for $10 a month.

The tiebreaker? You can control Apple Music with your voice.

“Siri, drop the needle!”

Both Beats 1 and Apple Music are slated for launch worldwide on 30th June.

Lowe (“the world’s foremost authority on emerging music”) will work out of Los Angeles, and will be joined by US DJ Ebro Darden in New York and Rinse FM’s Julie Adenuga in London. Then it will be broadcast, via the internet, to your phone. Apple released an advert for the service, featuring normal people listening normally while they go about their normal lives.

Commuter choreography aside, Beats 1 sounds like a surprisingly traditional set-up. There’s no sophisticated algorithm or high technology: the DJs choose, spin and introduce the tunes. Users can also listen to more bare bones genre playlists, but mostly this sounds like the same radio format that’s been around since Radio Caroline. Only, you know, on the internet.

Also announced at WWDC: Apple Pay coming to the UK next month, which will allow owners of an iPhone or an Apple watch to pay by touching their devices on contactless pads, including London Oyster card scanners, or to pay online by using finger print technology. It’s believed payments will be capped at £20.

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What an age we live in.