Apple is beefing up its linear Apple Music radio stations today with the launch of two new stations and a rebranding of the popular Beats 1 station. Apple Music Country and Apple Music Hits will be available today, and Beats 1 is now known as Apple Music 1. Apple is positioning the move as further asserting itself as the main tastemaker and music curator, seemingly in direct competition with radio companies and other streaming services, like Pandora and Spotify, for that title.
As expected, Apple Music Country will focus on country music. It’ll have multiple on-air hosts, as well as exclusive shows from artists like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, and Jimmie Allen. Apple Music Hits will, of course, focus on mainstream top music. On-air hosts include Estelle and Nicole Sky while exclusive artist-oriented shows will come from Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Shania Twain, and Snoop Dogg, among others.
The new Apple Music radio stations also come just months after Apple launched a beta version of the music service on the web. It includes the same interface as Apple’s standalone Music app, which ships with macOS Catalina. Apple is also looking to build “the next generation” of its media apps for Windows.