Does Beats 1 Really Beat Local FM Radio?

Featured Image via Forbes

Critics and music fans alike are praising Beats 1 radio on Apple Music, but is the praise a little overrated?

Beats1-2 Beats1-2

According to Billboard, people are complimenting Beats 1 on its radio personalities (such as Zane Lowe), its eclectic range of music, and its 24/7 live access – basically its overall old-school approach to radio. But have people forgotten that FM radio still exists and features those same qualities?

ROP has already commented on the bleak future of FM radio and how it could become obsolete everywhere. Could Beats 1 become the golden standard of radio? I could be accused of holding onto the past, but I do not believe that Beats 1 could truly replace some of my favorite FM radio stations like 93.3 WMMR. Beats 1 may be 24/7, but you can’t possibly call in amongst the hundred of thousands of other listeners. It may have cool DJs, but then you do not get to experience the personalities of your local city, people that you could run into doing errands or at an event. These DJs will not be discussing what’s happening in Philly that weekend, promoting Philly non-profits, holding events, or emphasizing local Philly musicians. People forget about FM college radio but college radio is the most authentic radio experience you could ask for; let’s not forget how impactful college radio was to the alternative rock scene of the 80’s and 90’s.



Photo by Rhys Asplundh – WMMR’s Preston and Steve’s Cardboard Classic 2012

Maybe current FM stations need to take some pointers from Apple – people respond well to diverse lineups, and who doesn’t want to hear a good B-side? Instead of playing it safe and relying on mass syndication, FM radio needs to go back to its own roots and experiment with their song selections and eclectic DJ personalities.

What do you think about Beats 1? Let us know in the comments!

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