Beats Music seeks to revolutionize the streaming music marketplace
The brain child of Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor, Ian Rogers, Luke Wood and Dr. Dre, Beats Music is the latest entrant into the streaming music business. An offshoot of the industry-defining Beats by Dre, the new kid on the music distribution block prides itself on bringing a better brain to the discovery process. A suggestion engine and tastemakers’ toolbox, Beats Music outshines its competition by being more than just an algorithm, and instead leverages a bevy of tastemaking partners to inform its engine.
Iovine tells the NY Times, “What song comes next, is as important as what song is playing now” — a comment that may as well be a mantra for the platform. With the current digital landscape awash in music and the sheer amount proving daunting for an average listener, Beats seeks to eliminate those issues by providing a smartly curated platform from its partners across the music industry. As part of its music first ideology, Beats’ model does not mimic its competitors and will not have a free tier: This subscription-based model allows for a higher royalty payout for artists through the service.
Perhaps the most exciting piece of the Beats puzzle is Trent Reznor’s involvement as the chief creative officer who’s primary goal is to crack the code of streaming music. “My phone knows where I’m at, what I’m up to, what temperature it is,” Reznor told the NY Times; “It might even start to recognize locations I visit, patterns of motion. What if music could be collected in little parcels and served up to me effortlessly?” While not fully realized, a byproduct of Reznor’s vision can be seen in the Right Now feature, a function that allows users to input four variables; a place, an activity, a person and a genre in order to receive a custom-curated playlist based on their choices.
The greatest hurdle the service faces is the need to separate itself from its numerous competitors, namely Spotify and iTunes Radio, a challenge that Iovine and company are attacking head on with a massive marketing push. A Superbowl ad, Ellen Degeneres plug and an AT&T subscription plan for mobile users will all bring the Beats Music brand in front of the slowest adopters of digital music; the parents of the millennial generation.
For its launch Beats Music will only be available in the United States, but with its sights set on Spotify, the Sweden-based company that was formed in 2008 and is now in 55 markets around the world, the streaming platform by the music industry, for the music industry, may be Iovine’s biggest success yet.
Beats Music launches in the US on January 21st. Read more about the service in the NY Times.