Analysis

Zane Lowe on new Apple role: ‘I’m just trying to connect with the listener’


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artworks-000072440132-gbej2s-cropEarlier this week, Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe revealed he’s leaving the British station to take up a new role within Apple. So what will he be doing in the land of iTunes and Beats Music?

The Guardian has an interview with Lowe that sheds a bit more light on his plans, even if he’s still clearly cautious of talking in too much depth about a role tying in with Apple’s upcoming relaunch of its music services.

“It’s about being able to get great music to an audience on a global level. I know that there is an opportunity to come out here and to build something that will reach parts of the world that I’ve never reached before,” says Lowe.

“That’s not an ego-driven decision. I’m just trying to connect with the listener, and connect with the artist, and put you guys together.” Interviewer Laura Barton notes that Lowe goes on to refer to “platforms and curating and connecting, for the possibilities of extending his current role as musical cheerleader beyond the reaches of Radio 1”.

And: “I really want a platform for the most passionate people who love music. I want to be able to bring that human experience, that we all had growing up with record stores, but actually make it something you can listen to in a world where you’re left to your own devices.”

So, it’s no clearer whether Lowe’s role at Apple will be mostly behind the scenes, curating playlists and acting as one of the company’s (many) bridges with the creative community. Or whether he’ll still be doing radio-style shows as part of whatever iTunes becomes in mid-2015.

Still, as we noted yesterday: it’s the latest sign of the importance of trusted, human curators in the digital music world. DJs like Lowe are hot property in this world, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see more either jump ship to companies like Apple and Spotify, or at least strike deals with them.

Apple hires Zane Lowe to put curation centre stage for iTunes relaunch

Stuart Dredge

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