Skip to main content

Is Beats 1 a 24-hour radio, or a 12-hour radio?

Apple's Beats 1 radio has only been around for a few days, and already it's running into trouble and has some explaining to do.

The point of confusion is whether it's a live 24-hour radio or not, and even what's considered a 24-hour live radio. The Verge's Ben Popper says he's been listening to Apple's new radio station extensively for the past couple of days and he notices that instead of having 24 hours of live shows, the radio actually has 12 hours of live shows, and then 12 hours of replays.

“Over and over while I've been listening this morning, the DJs have been declaring that they are doing a live show, even though it's actually a replay,” he says. “There have also been lots of promotional ads declaring that Beats 1 is "broadcasting live" on Apple Music. This might not matter much if you're on the other side of the world and hearing it for the first time, but it's a lame experience for someone like me giving this station a chance to fulfil its promise of 24-hour radio.”

The point might be that they want each show to be broadcast roughly at the same time in different parts of the world. So instead of having 24 hours, you have 12 hours live, but those 12 hours are played at proper times all around the globe. “But the result is that content is also mismatched in some ways to what is actually happening.”

“A brilliant DJ from Tokyo or Togo would have been a way better experience this morning than hearing St. Vincent for the second time in less than 12 hours,” he concludes.