Apple Hires More Staff Away From BBC Radio 1
Earlier this year, when Apple hired Zane Lowe away from BBC Radio 1, they sent a pretty clear message that their forthcoming streaming service would look to traditional radio as it plotted its course.
Well, they might as well print that message on the side of a blimp, because they reportedly just hired four more staffers from BBC Radio 1, including James Bursey, who was the producer of Lowe's evening radio show.
The list of hires also includes Natasha Lynch and Kieren Yates, who produces the BBC Introducing show; the name of the fourth hire hasn't been released. Music Business Worldwide reported the news last night (April 29), though Apple has yet to confirm the additions to its staff.
One BBC staffer who isn't on board with Apple's streaming service? The head of music at Radio 1, George Ergatoudis. Apple is a "huge disruptive monster is coming down the hill," he told the Worldwide Radio Summit in Los Angeles last week.
He described streaming services as "the sharks taking our audience away," and also noted that Apple's launch will involve "a huge amount of learning from traditional radio." Unfortunately for Ergatoudis, part of that learning process apparently includes hiring the "star producers" who put BBC Radio 1's music programs on the air.
Also at the Worldwire Radio Summit, Ben Cooper, the head of Radio 1, said the station had maintained its reach recently but had been losing listening hours to streaming services. Unlike Ergatoudis, he didn't point the finger at Apple.
"We lost three hours [per listener per week]," said Cooper. "Where do they spend time? On YouTube."