Preparations for the launch of the Beats Music streaming service continue, with news that Clear Channel executive Julie Pilat has joined the company to focus on music curation and artist development. She’ll be heading a “team of music experts” to provide recommendations and curated channels on the service, which is expected to launch later this year. “It’s about an art for connecting and giving them what they want,” she tells Billboard, promising to “bridge the gap between that ‘tastemaker’ audience and the mainstream. And give a lot of music context”. However, Pilat also appears to have adapted fast to Beats’ wilful (public) disregard for the curation efforts going on at rival services. “There aren’t a lot of choices. If you know what you want to listen to, you pull it up, but if you don’t, you get stuck,” she says, at a time when pretty much all those rivals are investing heavily in improving their own recommendations and editorial curation – Spotify’s ‘Browse’ feature being the latest example. Still, Beats Music’s launch should provide even more competition on this score, which is good for users on all services.