BBC Radio 1 & Apple Clash In Bitter Dispute
Apple is a “huge disruptive monster” according to George Ergatoudis – BBC Radio 1 ‘s head of music. He was speaking at a global conference in LA about the issues facing radio today and in the future. He went on to say that Apple’s “piles of cash” and ambitious ideas could change the music and radio industries. The US technology giant are due to announce their plans for a streaming service in June.
The BBC boss told the conference he believes Apple is building a service with a “huge amount of learning from traditional radio”. Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe left the network in March to work for Apple in Los Angeles. Ergatoudis explained that the resources available to the software company plus its ability to reach millions of smartphone users means it will force the radio industry to up its game. He added that the streaming market is already crowded and these services are “the sharks taking our audience away”.
But he warned Apple will be the biggest threat to radio stations globally when they do announce their plans. Ergatoudis was speaking alongside the Controller of BBC Radio 1, Ben Cooper who spoke about the stations commitment to its YouTube channel.
Addressing the conference, he said: “Listeners spend three hours a week less with the station on average. “Where do they spend time? On YouTube. The answer is to visualise a lot of our content.” But he insisted that content has to be meaningful and will include the usual live performances but also unexpected ones. “When you get famous people to do something different, that’s great content,” he said. “If you can make parodies and make audience laugh, it’s a winner.”