Re-Beats 1

Beats 1


From: Mike Caren

If Beats 1 were to work at the highest level, there would be a playlist the next day of everything every radio show played in the streaming service (sans commentary). The shows would essentially be the introduction to playlists with additional context. They would make a way for radio and playlists to co-exist in a value added format. It would essentially learn from TV/Tivo/Netflix and understand that you have a magnitude of different listeners that have different wants and needs.

What makes radio interesting, as does SNL and live concerts, is the show must go on. There isn’t as nearly the self imposed deadlines for recorded music. So many artists/labels/managers take too long making albums, over think them, and leave tons of great music sitting as 1s & 0s on hard drives. Do you know the most popular place to record music is Hotel rooms and AirBNB rentals? That probably exceeds the use of recording studios at this point for some artists. Music is made differently, consumed differently, but we still use so much structure designed long ago. I think people are starting to figure this out. I know that the conversations I’m having with forward thinking artists, managers, and label execs have changed completely just in the last 6 months.

Personally I’m very interested to hear what these DJS have to say and have been pissed ever since they took BBC Radio 1 off of SiriusXM and replaced it with the Studio 54 Disco channel. Zane is incredible and his passion and knowledge are amazing. He created “Hottest Record of the World.” Larry Jackson comes from radio (legendary KMEL days) but has been removed from it long enough to see it differently. I’m very optimistic. Maybe they’ll be raiding hard drives. I know they love new music. We’ll see.




From: Chris Douridas

Hi Bob,

I’ve spent most of my life thinking about what a global radio channel could sound like, and I agree with most of what you said.

And I’ve struggled with these same issues. I was hired early on by Steve Jobs and Eddy Cue as a creative consultant, working closely with them for the first four years of the iTunes service. My job was to think about how to program music, and create music programming concepts, for a global audience. Oddly enough, I was called on last month to consultant with them on finding the next coolest tune for their recent debut ad for Beats 1.

I’ve been watching their launch closely. Not only because I have a deep love and respect for the team behind the service, but also because I believe there’s a place in the world for a daily resource for what’s new in music that can be a shared experience among music lovers.

In many ways,Morning Becomes Eclectic was designed to be just that, eschewing genres to present what’s best. Period. But it’s a three hour show. KCRW doesn’t have the airtime or the budget to dedicate to a 24 hour channel, or the marketing power to be ubiquitous in the way that Apple can be.

In fact, the BBC music offerings may be the closest thing to what Apple is doing with Beats 1. That’s why Lowe is such an obvious and smart choice.

I would like to think that our collective work at KCRW for the last 30 years has helped to set the stage for what Lowe and team are setting out to achieve globally. Even Apple’s very description of their service sounds like taglines we’ve drummed into our listener’s head for decades:

“Zane Lowe and his handpicked team of renowned DJs create an eclectic mix of the latest and best in music.”

I like the fact that Trent Reznor was inspired by curated, informed radio. Remember when Top 40, used to be wildly eclectic? Where does one go now to get a relevant, informed and entertaining view of the latest and greatest? We all have our go-to resources, but at present, there is no default answer. In the end, we may conclude there doesn’t need to be one.

But we already have every conceivable niche format well-represented at any music service you can point to. What’s more rare are the trusted curators.

I don’t think Lowe and his team believe for a second they are some kind of cure-all. I think they just want to give the world a thoughtful alternative. That in itself is a noble goal, and i wish them the best.

Chris Douridas

KCRW-FM / School Night! / Music Supervision
Pacific Palisades, CA

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