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The surprising genius of Apple's Beats 1 radio

Mike Elgan | July 7, 2015
When Apple announced it was creating an Internet radio station called Beats 1 to go along with its Apple Music service, I was dismissive.

In Beats 1, Apple also gives itself an enormous megaphone to promote Apple Music and other Apple products and services. For now, the DJs are mostly flogging Beats 1 itself between songs, with slogans like "Coming to you worldwide" and "Always on."

Beats 1 is flawed. With Apple's vast resources, it's almost bizarre that it's selling sponsorships and playing recorded reruns. A true home run would have been live, commercial-free programming 24/7.

But by giving the world a high-quality, global shared music experience, Apple gives itself enormous new relevance, credibility and power in the music industry -- possibly even more so than during the height of iTunes' relevance.

What will Apple do with its newfound heft in the music industry? Beats me. My guess is that it will try to drive the world back to Apple Music and to the Apple Store to spend even more.

Like I said: Beats 1 is genius.


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