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Annie Mac steps up at Radio 1 as Zane Lowe heads to Apple

By | Published on Monday 16 February 2015

Zane Lowe

So this got the social networks into a frenzy yesterday, didn’t it? Yes, there was some big news coming out off Radio 1 Towers this weekend: Annie Mac is being promoted to the big 7-9pm weekday new music slot. Which is welcome news indeed, and definitely worthy of a tweet here and, dare I say it, a Facebook post there. Maybe even a Tumbl. Yeah, why not? Have a Tumbl on Annie.

But what do you mean you’d rather wildly speculate about what the man she’s replacing has got planned? OK, that is quite interesting. Because yes, Mac is replacing long-term Radio 1 voice, even longer-term MTV ‘rock’ man and, for those with very good memories, one time CMU columnist Zane Lowe, who, you see, is heading to the States to work for Apple.

He’s due to take up a new role within iTunes, which has led to much chatter about what exactly that means, and, more to the point, what does it tell us about Apple’s plans for its new play in the streaming content space? It’s widely expected that Apple will relaunch its music platform later this year, bringing together the iTunes download store, the Pandora-style iTunes Radio and the Beats Music fully on-demand streaming service into one new integrated mish-mash musical masterpiece.

But where will Lowe fit in? Beats Music, of course, made much of human rather than algorithm-based curation being at the heart of the service on its launch last year, and Apple is likely to replicate that with its new music set-up. Though some have pointed out that traditional radio done well offers more than just playlisting, bringing personalities and story-tellers into the mix. Could Apple be seeking to offer that extra layer of content when it properly enters the ever competitive on-demand streaming market this summer?

Time will tell. In the meantime, Lowe says of his departure from the nation’s favourite for the big Apple: “I want to thank everyone at Radio 1 – for their support and friendship. The station has allowed me to share incredible music with the country’s best music fans – I’ve loved every minute of it. Exciting times lie ahead”.

Exciting times indeed. But hey, people. Annie Mac on the flagship new music slot on Radio 1, that’s exciting too right? And here she is: “I am so excited and humbled to be asked to do this show. The thing I love about music radio is those private epiphanies it provides. Having eleven hours of airtime a week to share those moments with music that has no boundaries, is beyond a job, it’s a privilege”.

And finally Radio 1 boss Ben Cooper on all these developments: “Annie has proven she is a great ambassador for new music, and I’m delighted that she’s bringing her passion and knowledge to young audiences across the week. I’d like to thank Zane for twelve wonderful years at Radio 1, and wish him all the very best”.

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