Beats Music Enters Online Streaming Market

Posted: January 23, 2014 by ericbernsen in Business, Features, Marketing, Music, News, Uncategorized
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While once upon a time music fans were limited in the ways they could consume their favorite songs and albums, nowadays people are running into the opposite problem. iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Google Play, SoundCloud, and YouTube. Although all of these platforms differ in their technical infrastructure, they are similar in the fact that they offer options for people in terms of listening to music. iTunes has become the standard digital music store, Pandora started strong but suffers from a lack of variety, Spotify has grown into a worthy competitor of iTunes as a free option, Google Play is still gaining traction, SoundCloud is the primary location for up-and-coming artists, and YouTube offers convenience yet suffers from a lack of quality (not quantity). Is there room for another big-time player in this space? Co-founder of Interscope Records Jimmy Iovine, along with Beats By Dre partner Dr Dre, certainly think so as they officially brought their Beats Music streaming music service to the market this week and are taking an unique approach in their latest business venture.

With the billion-dollar success story of the Beats By Dre headphones providing the funds, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have started a subscription based streaming service that will directly challenge Spotify, Pandora, and Apple’s new iTunes Radio in this ongoing battle for online music dominance. The two have hired Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails as the service’s chief creative officer and the industry masterminds are ready to hit the ground running. Much progress has been made on the digital music streaming front in recent years, with Pandora being a pioneer. However, the Beats Music team is looking to perfect the aspect that seems to be missing within all of presently offered services; the human element.

While services like Pandora and iTunes radio focus on their algorithms in attempts to predict what song a listener would like to hear next, the goal of Beats Music will be to act as a “human guide” that will offer clarity within the complex world of digital music. The service will have a smooth, slick visual appearance (fit to be mobile-friendly) organized in four swipe-able panels that each deliver a constant feed of fresh songs. First time users will be able to pick their favorite genres and from there it is playlists galore.

The experts behind the scenes at Beats Music are not called programmers, but curators as their primary initiative is to make music discovery easy as possible for the consumer. Hundreds of wide-ranging playlists exist in all of the genres and sub-genre’s, with the intention of being as spot-on as possible in terms of your musical taste and what you want to hear next. Rather than rely on automated analysis, Beats Music is banking on emotion and natural feeling as the centerpiece of their business as they have hired past writers at publications such as The Rolling Stone and Pitchfork to provide musical recommendations.

Unlike other alternatives that provide their streaming services for free, Beats Music is going with a $10 rate per month for its users. While many people will be skeptical of having a payment plan, the policy has its advantages as artists will be in support of the higher royalty fees that come with a paid subscription. The ability to run licensing relationships with record companies should also come more smoothly for Beats Music due to the fee. And with the master marketing behind of Jimmy Iovine at the helm, Beats Music is already making headway with everything from a partnership to AT&T, upcoming Super Bowl ads, and endorsements on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” of all places.

So although the online music streaming service space is a crowded one, initial reviews of Beats Music are promising and if Jimmy Iovine teamed up with Dr. Dre can make a fortune together from overpriced headphones… there is no reason to doubt them with Beats Music. Who knows if Beats Music will become the new standard, but one thing is a guarantee; the service will have an attractively monumental marketing movement behind it which will make serious news in the music industry.

You watch a .30 second commercial spot for Beats Music below that gives an idea of what kind of message it wants to portray to its audience.

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