One of the key executives behind Apple's Beats 1 radio has resigned just two months after the "worldwide, always on" service launched, reports the Financial Times. Ian Rogers was formerly the CEO of Beats Music and joined Apple along with fellow Beats executives Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine when the iPhone maker bought the company in May last year. The FT says that Rogers' decision to leave Apple is unexpected, with the long-time music executive said to be moving to work in an unrelated industry for a company based in Europe.
The FT notes that Rogers was responsible for spearheading the development of free radio service Beats 1, hiring DJ Zane Lowe to front the station and shaping its varied shows and playlists. In a personal blog published the day before Beats 1 went live, Rogers wrote: "Seeing Apple Music on stage at WWDC this month [...] it was hard not to feel like the last 20+ years was leading to this day." Rogers repeatedly stressed the importance of curation and music discovery in music services, including in an interview with The Verge last year in January.
It's perhaps no surprise then that Beats 1 has been praised for its eclectic music, but it remains unclear how well Apple Music itself is attracting paying customers. Earlier this month, the company announced that the service had more than 11 million trial members (compared to 75 million non-paying Spotify users), although a third-party survey later claimed that 48 percent of people who sign up later stop using Apple Music. Apple has denied these figures, claiming their retention rate is 79 percent, but most analysts are waiting until October (when the service's three-month free trial will run out for most people), to properly judge its success.
Verge Video: Apple Music hands on