Apple staffing up with radio music programmers

Macworld Australia Staff
18 September, 2013
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If you fancy yourself as a genre expert (or, as one commenter on the website pointed out, what we used to call a DJ), Apple is hiring now.

What does a genre expert do, we hear you ask. It’s all to do with the forthcoming iTunes Radio, which is expected to launch tomorrow, free with iOS 7. The musical experts are being engaged to help program the iTunes Match stations. To put that into context, it’s the opposite of streaming site Pandora, which forms its playlists from an algorithm-driven methodology.

iTunes Radio will launch in the US initially, but Apple has agreements with music labels all over the world (iTunes currently operates in 119 territories), indicating that the eventual reach of the service will be global. Pandora, on the other hand, is limited to the US, New Zealand and Australia.

Some commenters have noted that this all seems to be a little tardy. If the service is launching this week and Apple is hiring now, that doesn’t seem to leave the new staff much time to hit the ground running.

Paul Sloan at CNET writes, “Apple has been staffing up and is looking to hire a range radio music programmers. These are people with deep knowledge in genres such Latin, metal and alternative music who will be responsible for selecting and promoting songs out of the thousands of new releases each month. Apple has also been trying to poach people from the labels themselves.”

The website also notes that Apple has in mind its own version of the Australian radio station Triple J’s Unearthed initiative. Working with major music labels, the Cupertino California company is trying to promote ‘heat seekers’ – acts that are on the rise, but have yet to break through into the mainstream.

This human input into programming is fairly standard for Apple. As CNET notes, “The iTunes Store, which despite attempts by Amazon and Google remains by far the biggest digital music marketplace, relies on people to select which artists get featured, and that can make a new album or track.”

So if Latin music is your bag and you fancy sharing your limitless knowledge of it with the world, head to the Apple job site and check out job number 28703742…

by Macworld Australia staff

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