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Apple Music Radio launches to challenge Spotify; Beats 1 rebranded

Apple announces Apple Music Radio, challenges Spotify
(Image credit: Apple)

Beats 1 is no more. Apple has renamed its flagship radio station Apple Music 1, which joins two new stations, Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country.

Apple says Apple Music Hits will "celebrate everyone’s favourite songs from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s", while sister station Apple Music County will "spotlight country music". Both will feature exclusive original shows from the genres' top artists.

Could this be a a not-so-subtle sign that Apple is taking on rival streaming service Spotify, which has already invested heavily in exclusive shows and podcasts? Only time will tell, but Apple has confirmed it "will continue to invest in live radio."

There's certainly no love lost between the two companies. Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission antitrust regulator last year, citing Apple's "unfair advantage" over rival streaming services (Apple takes a 30 per cent cut of any subscriptions made through apps from the Apple App Store). 

Still, while corporate lawyers get themselves steamed up, the rest of us can kick back and enjoy Apple Music Hits' line-up, which includes exclusive on-air shows from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Huey Lewis and Alanis Morissette. 

Prefer a little more twang with your tunes? Apple Music Country offers exclusive shows from Jimmie Allen, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, The Shires, Carrie Underwood and more.

The formerly named Beats 1 station launched in 2015 and under its new name, Apple Music 1, will continue to be the home to ex-BBC Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe. Apple claims it's now "one of the most-listened-to stations in the world."

Radio aside, Apple Music provides streaming access 60 million songs for £9.99 (AU$11.99) per month, though you currently get the first three months free

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