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Apple hiring 'genre experts' to fine tune iTunes Radio programming

In the run-up to the launch of iTunes Radio, Apple is hiring on a number of genre experts in order to give its music streaming service a human touch that competitors might not easily be able to match.

Apple is looking for radio music programmers with deep knowledge of genres such as Latin, metal, and alternative, according to CNET. Those genre experts would be charged with selecting and promoting songs out of the thousands that the major and indie labels release each month.

Apple's postings seeking these genre experts call for "tastemakers" who are "passionate about discovering exciting new music and artists." Candidates are expected to have a strong understanding and background in how the music business operates, with five years experience and knowledge in retail, radio, A&R, editorial, record labels, and any other music related fields.

The genre experts would be responsible for programming featured stations within iTunes Radio. This element in particular could help distinguish Apple's streaming music service from its competition. Pandora uses algorithms and user feedback to figure out which song to play next. Apple, by contrast, will be relying at least in part on human tastemakers.

Apple has also been working with major music labels to determine which acts they believe are "heat seekers," or groups that are on the verge of making it big according to label data, but have not yet made the leap. Reportedly, some within the major labels are excited at the possibility of Apple remaking the radio landscape. Pandora has famously struggled with the labels over licensing fees, and Spotify is little different.

"We're hoping Apple shakes up the entire radio market," one aunnamed music executive said.

Apple, though, has been aggressively looking to monetize its streaming offer, courting advertisers in order to make good on the licensing deals it struck with the major labels ahead of revealing iTunes Radio.