When Apple launched its Beats 1 radio station as part of Apple Music, there was a lot of speculation in the UK about the possible competition with the BBC’s music radio stations.

Since then, with no listening figures available for Beats 1, the sense of panic in traditional broadcasting circles has died down. Now, though, it may be time to talk about the competition in another context: the BBC taking on Beats 1 by launching its iPlayer Radio app globally. It’s starting with a launch in Ireland, with more countries to follow, with an app that provides access to live streams of the BBC’s stations, as well as catch-up and podcast content. “We hope that the app will be a destination on mobile homescreens for audiences around the world who want to explore the breadth of BBC radio, from news and current affairs to drama, comedy and music,” said the BBC’s James Montgomery.

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