Apple targets urban playlists after poaching Ryan Newman from BBC Radio 1Xtra

Apple Music

BBC Radio 1 has lost another executive to a streaming service. This time, it’s Radio 1Xtra music editor Ryan Newman who’s off for a job at Apple Music.

Newman’s role at Apple has yet to be announced – Apple failed to respond to requests for comment on the long-rumoured appointment over the last few weeks, and has now refused to comment – but Music Week, which has confirmed the move with multiple sources, understands he will be heading up Apple’s urban playlisting operation.

He’ll have his work cut out too. Another former Radio 1/1Xtra exec, Austin Daboh, has built up Spotify’s urban playlists into the most essential streaming platforms in the biz. Apple’s subscriptions may be growing – it’s reportedly on track to overtake Spotify in the US by the end of the year – but few in the biz see its playlists to be as impactful as Spotify’s biggest brands.

Newman will look to change that. He was made music editor by head of music Chris Price in 2016, after many years of programming experience across both Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

BBC execs have been targeted by streaming services in recent years, as the digital music platforms attempt to make their curation and playlisting as influential as that of Radio 1 and Radio 2. Others to make the leap include former Radio 1 head of music George Ergatoudis, now head of music culture, shows & editorial at Spotify and former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, now heading up Apple’s Beats 1.

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