Apple have poached BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe away from his renowned position at the UK's top radio station, in a bid to gear up for its music industry takeover.

After 12 years at BBC Radio 1, Lowe will relocate to the U.S with his wife and two sons and work at Apple to lead its iTunes radio service. Fellow BBC Radio 1 presenter Annie Mac is said to be taking over Lowe's spot at the UK station.

The New Zealander has had an incredible impact on the UK music scene during his career at the BBC – Lowe is credited with helping to 'break' many big stars in the UK including the Arctic Monkeys, Adele and Ed Sheeran and steering the industry away from the manufactured pop, which prevailed in the Nineties.

After joining the station from XFM in 2003, Lowe will play his final BBC Radio 1 show on March 5. Speaking of the new venure, Lowe said "I want to thank everyone at Radio 1 for their support and friendship."

Adding: "The station has allowed me to share incredible music with the country's best music fans – I've loved every minute of it. Exciting times lie ahead."

Apple aims to compete with the likes of Spotify and SoundCloud with its iTunes Radio service – which allows users to stream music based on their tailored likes. The service is free but does incorporate advertising breaks. The Zane Lowe hire is one in a series of efforts to increase the popularity of Apple's radio service and dominate the lucrative music-streaming business.