Apple is exploring the idea of adding five additional Beats radio stations to Apple Music, and according to a new report, the Cupertino company already has the licensing agreements to move forward. Sources with “knowledge of the situation” told The Verge that Apple can launch Beats 2-6 without having to renegotiate with major labels over payments.
Beats 1 currently operates live for 12 hours each day, with the remaining time filled with re-runs and other programming. By adding stations with DJs based in far-flung time zones, Apple could easily create a true 24/7 network of Beats stations. It could also expand its repertoire to include genre-specific stations.
While Apple Music’s initial rollout earned mixed reviews, the radio station has emerged as a hit despite a few hiccups, like its glitch-y user experience during the MTV VMA announcements.
Interestingly, another anonymous source told Verge that Apple’s Beats is paying a higher per-play rate to rights holders than Pandora. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
During last month’s quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was “thrilled about the response” to Apple Music, which launched June 30. Without going into details, Cook said that “millions of listeners are listening to Beats 1,” which is led by former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and features guest hosts including Dr. Dre, Pharrell and Elton John.