Apple’s Beats 1 Needs to Internationally Diversify their Music

by AJ Adejare

Beats1 brags about being “Worldwide” but does the music match the intent?

Zane Lowe during the end of the first song played on Apple’s Beats 1, Spring King’s ‘City’, bragged about being worldwide.  He exclaiming how they were reaching over 100 countries and loved how they were taking music worldwide.

But, is it worldwide? If you look at the stations that beaches broadcasting from the only come from two different countries: the United Kingdom and the United States. There is a Beats 1 radio station in London, there’s a Beats 1 radio station in Los Angeles and in New York, there is no Beats 1 in Shanghai, or Lagos, and certainly not Sydney.

It feels like a large section of the world is actually discounted.  For instance, Korean Pop (K-pop) se seems to be lacking in not only playtime from what I know, but actually having it’s for particular DJs sets for the channel.  Girls Generation, one of the premier K-Pop groups is about to launch their next album and not a peep.  There’s nothing on the Chinese or Japanese front, there’s nothing on the India area, nor Brazil or Mexico. There’s not even a so much of a suggestion for musicians in Nigeria or Ghana or any African country.

That is a problem. For as much about talk about the artist, we’re only getting a subset of the artist that matters only to a certain population, mainly westerns.  That helps to create an echo chamber similar to what Beats 1 tried to escape with iHeartMedia, CBS Radio: play what’s popular or known that comes from a pool that people would most likely know. That mentality limits the amount of inspiration that can come from hearing different styles of music from different parts of the world.

While there’s a lot of fans that like jazz, they may have not heard of Yoko Kano’s work for Cowboy Bebop including Tank and The Real Folk Blues.

People that like a new disco type of music feel may not know that Wonder Girls “Tell me” has that type of feel.

Let’s not even talk about how many people don’t know the awesomeness that is “Olu Maintain – Yahooze”:

Mind you, I know that even MY musical interests aren’t as diverse as they should be as well.

Hearing different artists from around the world can start to bring in new fans that otherwise would have not even considered listening to them at all.  From there, their songs could get purchased and they could receive even more revenue from the sales and get encouraged to take a tour to not only the US but to other countries.   People diversify their music interests, labels now have more artists to promote, and Apple gets more money.  Everyone wins.

However, when we still have gate keepers that are focused on playing what they know, how they know, where they know, we’re still going to run into the same isolation as the radio.  If we want to give artists international and even domestically, time to shine, get money, get noticed in the opes that they have a semblance of a stable music career, we need to open up the music gates.

So Beats 1, be world wide and actually bring in worldwide music.

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