Apple’s Music Conglomerate: Zane Lowe, Beats Music and the next step in controlling the music industry
Zane Lowe has served nearly 12 years at BBC Radio 1; he’s become an international figure revered for his taste making, his DJ broadcasts, and high-profile interviews with the likes of Kanye West, Rick Rubin, and Eminem. His final show for Radio 1 will take place on March 5th, marking the end of an era, and a beginning of a new chapter where he’ll be taking his talents to Apple and its iTunes Radio product.
What role will the 41-year-old music world veteran assume at Apple? That remains a mystery. More intriguing still, is the one of the questions that arises from the hire; what does Apple have planned for their looming domination of the music industry.
Apple launched iTunes Radio in 2013 to compete with emerging streaming platforms, and purchased Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Music in 2014 with what was assumed to be the same aim.
Rumors are swirling in the tech world, speculating the conglomerate’s next move — one that, hypothetically, would have Apple deeply integrate Beats Music technologies into iOS, iTunes and Apple TV. Those same reports indicate an update of Beats Music social media capabilities, and a certain but unknown merging of users’ Beats Music libraries and iTunes libraries; these claims say iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, and iTunes Store will remain as-is.
If Apple’s conglomerate of music properties is, in fact, focused around leveraging Beats Music and the streaming music movement, the next stage in its evolution could be coming sooner rather than later. Reports from Billboard claim Beats Music’s next benchmark — which is already being referred to as a merger to create Apple’s “new streaming service” — could launch as soon as this spring, and certainly by summer.
An insider told Billboard that Apple’s plan “is to be the music business; it’s not to compete with Spotify,” supporting the article’s ambitious headline; Apple Doesn’t Want To Compete — It Wants To Own The Record Business.
With Jimmy Iovine at the helm — not to mention, a deep team of the music industry’s top-tier experts — it’s not silly to throw the term “game changer” around.
Today it’s Zane Lowe.
Who knows who it will be tomorrow…
Editor’s Note: Anyone with even elementary interest in the music industry should read the Billboard story (linked above) and keep an eye out for its February 21st issue.