Music streaming service Apple Music is going live worldwide on June 30, and alongside it Beats 1, Internet radio and the Connect social network.
Apple hasn't released much information on Beats 1, but The New York Times reported that several prominent artists were contracted to host or appear on the Internet radio service.
These artists include Drake, Dr. Dre, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, St. Vincent, Josh Homme, Jaden Smith and Disclosure. The length of these contracts has not been disclosed, although Dr. Dre is in it for the long haul with an radio channel called The Pharmacy.
Apple promoted the idea of 24/7 radio on the Internet, with hosts, interviews and other typical features for a radio station. Zane Lowe will run Beats 1, the first radio station, with a planned interview with Eminem coming on June 30.
The Internet radio station was apparently thought up by Trent Reznor, even though Apple already had the outlines for a radio service with iTunes Radio. Apple Music and Beats 1 added the physical element of people on the radio, instead of playlists.
Beats 1 appears to be the main channel, similar to BBC Radio 1 in the UK. Other channels will be configured by providers, but Apple has not released details on advertising and policy for radio stations to follow—hinting that for now Apple might keep the radio station on lockdown.
Hopefully, this will not last too long, considering radio stations like Capital and Heart might also want to offer services on the Internet. Apple might offer geo-location for locals to tune into a radio station, rather than listen to news outside of their town or state.
Apple’s Internet radio station is free, along with the Connect social network. The only price comes for music streaming, the main meat of the service.