When Apple Music went live this summer, it drew in users with not just attractive subscription offers (especially in terms of family plans) and convenient access to the hottest popular music: it also had the trump card to play of Beats 1, a 24/7 global streaming “radio” station intended to unite listeners around the world in a way few broadcasters had been able to. And in the months since, we’ve seen access expand to even more users still, like with the availability of the Apple Music Android app. Now some new trademark filings suggest that Apple’s about to seriously step up its streaming game, as Beats 1 is joined by a cadre of brother stations.
Last month, Apple applied for the trademarks B2 through B5, with the same stylized Beats-logo “b” we’re familiar with from Beats 1. As if it weren’t clear enough just from those visual depictions what Apple intended to do with these names, the trademark applications explicitly reference their use for broadcasting purposes.
Right now, though, we don’t have a great sense for when Apple might be thinking of launching additional Beats stations. The only big Apple Music development on our radar is rumored support for new HQ streaming options, and we haven’t heard an ETA for that more specific than sometime in 2016. Does that mean we’ll be waiting until something like WWDC for news of this Apple Music expansion? Or could word come even earlier in the year, perhaps at Apple’s rumored March event?