Beats 1: Indies dominate first day’s playlist as Zane Lowe delivers

Apple launched its new Beats 1 radio station last night with Zane Lowe to much public acclaim.

“It’s not about fanfare or fireworks. It’s about quality and consistency,” said the clearly fired-up New Zealander.

“We’re Beats 1, we’re worldwide and from now on, we’re always on.”

From there, Lowe gave former employer BBC Radio 1 a big headache by doing what he’s always done – charming the pants off music fans everywhere.

Lowe kicked off Beats 1’s worldwide broadcast with unsigned Manchester act Spring King’s City – and it was a sign of the support for independent artists and and labels that was to come.

According to Radiomonitor data analysed by MBW, Beats 1 played 41 tracks from 5pm until midnight yesterday (UK/European time).

41.4% of them, or 17 tracks, were from independent artists.

That was one better than Universal, who claimed 16 (39%) tracks – although this discounts Glass Animals’ Black Mambo, released independently but distributed via UMG’s Caroline.

Sony was responsible for seven tracks (17%) but these included the most-spun: Pharrell’s comeback single Freedom.

Warner had just one entry (2%) in the opening 41 tracks: Royal Blood’s Little Monster, although it was played twice.


This is very early days, of course, so expect this independent love-in to calm slightly, but it’s still interesting – not least as BBC Radio 1’s Top 50 tracks last year contained just three independent releases.

Zane Lowe’s first ten tracks on Beats 1 included no less than six independent acts, with two from UMG, two from Sony and none from Warner.

  1. Spring King – City (unsigned)
  2. Beck – Dreams (Capitol/Virgin EMI/UMG)
  3. Jamie XX – Gosh (XL)
  4. Skepta – Shutdown (BBK Records)
  5. AC/DC – For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) (Sony)
  6. Hudson Mohawke – Warriors (Warp)
  7. Pharrell Williams – Freedom (Sony)
  8. Courtney Barnett – Dead Fox (Marathon Artists)
  9. The Chemical Brothers – Under Neon Lights (Virgin EMI/UMG)
  10. Shamir – On The Regular (XL)

Lowe, whose debut performance on the station has gone down well with reviewers, also introduced a section called ‘World Record’; a very similar idea to his industry-watched ‘World’s Hottest Record’ feature on his old BBC Radio 1 show.

He was followed on Beats 1 by Julie Adenuga in London and Ebro Darden in New York.

Lowe is expected to unveil a world exclusive interview with Eminem on Beats 1 later today (July 1).

As you can see below in the list of the 41 tracks from Beats 1’s first few hours on air, only four songs got repeated: Williams’ Freedom (Sony), Royal Blood’s Little Monster (WMG), The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face (UMG) and A$AP Rocky’s L$D (Sony). [Plays displayed on right-hand side.]

1Pharrell WilliamsFreedomRCASME3
2Royal BloodLittle MonsterWarner MusicWMG2
2Weeknd, TheCan’t Feel My FaceIslandUMG2
4AC/DCFor Those About to Rock (We Salute You)Sony MusicSME1
4Alabama ShakesDon’t Wanna FightRough TradeInd.1
4Alessia CaraHereDef JamUMG1
4AlunaGeorgeYou Know You Like ItIslandUMG1
4BeckDreamsVirgin EMIUMG1
4Chemical Brothers, The feat. St VincentUnder Neon LightsUniversal MusicUMG1
4Chet FakerBendInd.1
4Courtney BarnettDead FoxMarathon ArtistsInd.1
4David ZowieHouse Every WeekendVirgin EMIUMG1
4Day WaveWe Try But We Don’t Fit InInd.1
4DenneyLow FrequencyMinistry Of SoundInd.1
4Disclosure feat. Gregory PorterHolding OnPMRUMG1
4Dr. DreLet Me Ride Death Row / InterscopeUMG1
4Elliot MossSlipPiasInd.1
4EminemPhenomenalShady RecordsUMG1
4Florence + The MachineShip To WreckIslandUMG1
4GallantWeight In GoldInd.1
4Glass AnimalsBlack MamboCarolineInd.1
4Grace feat. G-EazyYou Don’t Own MeSony MusicSME1
4Hudson Mohawke feat. Rckazoid, DevaeuuxWarriorsWarp RecordsInd.1
4Jack GarrattWeatheredIslandUMG1
4Jamie xxGoshYoung TurksInd.1
4Jamie XX feat. Young Thug & PopcaanI Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)Young TurksInd.1
4JmeMan Don’t CareInd.1
4Justin TimberlakeSenoritaJiveSME1
4LapsleyFalling ShortHer Own Recordings / Annie Mac PresentsInd.1
4Seinabo SeyHard TimeVirgin EMIUMG1
4ShamirOn The RegularXL RecordingsInd.1
4SkeptaShutdownBBK RecordsInd.1
4SlavesCheer Up LondonVirgin EMIUMG1
4Spring KingCityHandsome DadInd.1
4StromaeTous Les MêmesVirgin EMIUMG1
4Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick LamarBad BloodVirgin EMIUMG1
4Vic Mensa feat. Kanye WestU MadVirgin EMIUMG1
4Wolf AliceYou’re A GermDirty HitInd.1

In the first few hours since midnight (UK time / CET), Beats played the following tracks, according to RadioMonitor, in a more major-dominated segment.

1Blink 182What’s My Age AgainMcaUMG1
1Elliot MossSlipPiasInd.1
1EminemPhenomenalShady RecordsUMG1
1Kendrick LamarAlrightPolydorUMG1
1LapsleyFalling ShortHer Own Recordings / Annie Mac PresentsInd.1
1Major Lazer feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus RileyPowerfulMad DecentWMG1
1Meek MillDreams And NightmaresWarner MusicWMG1
1Miguel feat. Lenny KravitzFace The SunRCASME1
1Rick Ross feat. Jay ZThe Devil Is A LieVirgin EMIUMG1
1StromaeTous Les MêmesVirgin EMIUMG1
1Weeknd, TheCan’t Feel My FaceIslandUMG1
1Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie PuthSee You AgainWarner MusicWMG1

Music Business Worldwide

Related Posts