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A report on Wednesday claims Apple poached a handful of top producers from BBC Radio 1 to work on a secret streaming music service rumored to debut later this year, potentially as a rebranded Beats Music.
Sources familiar with the matter told Music Business Worldwide that Apple snapped up four producers, including employees from BBC Introducing, a show that features undiscovered talent.
The publication named James Bursey as one producer leaving Radio 1 for Apple. Bursey will reportedly reunite with former BBC DJ Zane Lowe, a Grammy-winning tastemaker hired by Apple in February. Natasha Lynch and Kieran Yeates were also mentioned as potential new hires.
"There's no denying that there's something of an exodus to Apple from Radio 1 right now," one BBC source said. "With four producers joining Apple, that hiring of Zane all-of-a-sudden makes much more sense, doesn't it?"
The report also speculates that Deezer executive James Foley may also be headed to Apple, as he recently left his position as the streaming music company's head of editorial for a secretive competitor.
Apple is widely rumored to be working on a subscription-based streaming music service built on the Beats Music framework. Recent reports put Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor at the helm of Apple's unannounced project, which could feature artist exclusives and launch with a price tag of at least $9.99 per month. Jimmy Iovine and other Apple employees are also said to be working on the Spotify rival.