The free side of Apple Music is getting a slight refresh, as Beats 1 becomes Apple Music 1, and two more stations rock up.
There’s certainly no shortage of things to watch and listen to online, and streaming services help fill those up. While streaming services invariably cost something if you want your pick of high-quality music, you don’t always have to fork out cash.
Take Spotify’s free tier, which provides ad-supported music that can be run in a shuffled approach, or even a few playlists you can choose the order of. That’s handy, and YouTube Music offers a similar approach, as well.
In fact, YouTube’s standard website and app has quite a bit of music on it, as well, and while YouTube will typically throw an advertisement in front of you from time to time, it’s just one of the ways you can jam for music for the price of free.
But it’s not the only way to get free music, and Apple Music offers its own free tier, albeit in a different way.
Since it launched back in 2015, Apple Music has offered a streaming radio service for both paid and unpaid users, working it just like radio, except digital. Known as Beats 1, it’s a radio service with DJs and music artists running music programmes, some of which can be replayed later on as podcasts, such as those from Elton John.
Beats 1 could be described as eclectic, covering music from all across the world and from several genres, but this week, it’s not being called “Beats 1” anymore, and it also won’t be alone.
From this week, Beats 1 becomes “Apple Music 1”, and Apple is looking to add two other stations in the near future, with “Apple Music Hits” delivering hits from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, while “Apple Music Country” will serve both types of music (country and western) for people who want to listen. And just like the main station, you can expect some artist-helmed shows on each, with Backstreet Boys, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette and Snoop Dogg on the Apple Music Hits, while Apple Music Country will see specials from Carrie Underwood, Willie Jones, Florida Georgia Line, and others.
Launch dates for the new Apple Music streaming radio stations haven’t been announced yet, but we’d expect it to happen either before or at the next iPhone launch, suggesting September or October, though there’s no word on whether they’ll be free like Apple Music 1, formerly Beats 1. Our guess is “yes”, simply because Apple has kept its other radio service free, and that may be an interesting move to get more people to try Apple’s brand of streaming music, Apple Music.