Entertainment

Beats 1 now the “biggest radio station in the world”

Drake’s latest project More Life streamed more than 89.9 million times within the first 24 hours of its release on Apple Music, the home of radio station Beats 1. Despite a lower user base, Apple Music beat Spotify’s 30 million plays of the album and now the company’s executives have claimed that the Beats 1 station is now “the biggest in the world.”

Although Views, Drake’s previous album, was an Apple Music exclusive, his latest release completely out performed, streaming 300 million times on the site alone within it’s first week and Apple have attributed this strong performance to Beats 1. Vice President of apps, Robert Kondrk, and head of music content Larry Jackson, explained that Beats 1 has replaced SoundCloud for Drake. Drake has been involved in Apple Music since its launch in 2015 and he now debuts songs and albums through his weekly Beats 1 radio show ‘OVO Sound Radio.’ Jackson has applauded the rapper for taking a chance on Apple Music and explains that the company have worked around what he wants and needs: “We learned so much from just building what Drake needed,” executive Jimmy Iovine stated. “He had the idea, we kind of just built and supported around him, and we’ve learned a lot from that, and the entire industry has learned a lot from that.”

The executives have stated that the numbers reached on Drake’s radio show were “TV numbers” and noted that last week’s episode debuting More Life amounted to the biggest listening base on Beats 1 to date. Apple have failed to provide any concrete listener data for Beats 1, so Jackson’s comment that it is now the “biggest radio station in the world” is notable. However, it is undeniable that the ability to capitalize on debut albums and exclusives has kept Apple Music successful, particularly over the past 18 months. Iovine stated that Apple Music must remain distinct from simply being seen as a “utility”, explaining “We’re always searching for ideas and new ways to do things. I use this word quite often but it’s so true. These [streaming] services cannot be utilities, it’s not enough. They have to be — they almost have to make music a verb — it has to just move. And that’s what we’re trying to do.” He continued, “Two years ago, people would’ve thought we were crazy with what we were doing with Drake. And we are starting things with other people that in two years will look as interesting as this.”

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