BBC sign

Apple has reportedly poached more employees from BBC Radio 1 following its appointment of Zane Lowe back in February. Its latest round of hires is said to include four top producers, including Lowe's former producer.

"One of this foursome is believed to be Lowe's old producer at Radio 1, James Bursey," reports Music Business Worldwide. "Bursey is understood to have left the Beeb on Friday and is now headed to Los Angeles to team up with Lowe."

Three other BBC producers are expected to join the Cupertino company, according to MBW, but they will be based in Apple's London offices. They are to start work after Radio 1's "One Big Weekend" event, which takes place on May 23 and 24.

The group is said to include Natasha Lynche and Kieran Yeates, who are described as "star producers." Lynche was named in The Guardian's Music Power 100 list in 2011, while Yeates is behind BBC Introducing, a show dedicated to showcasing talented new artists.

"There's no denying that there's something of an exodus to Apple from Radio 1 right now," a "well-placed BBC source" told MBW.

All of these hires are thought to be connected to Apple's upcoming Beats music service, which is likely to compete with the likes of Spotify and Rdio.