The Beats Music app release has music industry experts asking the question, “can the new streaming music service take down Spotify?” On Tuesday, Beats Music will hit iOS, Android, Windows, and the web, sending music ready to be streamed for anyone willing to pay the $9.99 subscription fee. Sound familiar? The popular company is not ashamed of pointing out they want to be the best in the next generation of how music gets discovered.
Beats formed in 2008 when music legend Jimmy Iovine teamed up with Dr. Dre to produce new headphones that would become the industry standard for cool and quality. His inspiration was the disgust of seeing an entire generation being introduced to music through Apple’s well known ear buds. Iovine has worked with everyone from John Lennon to Eminem as a music producer, engineer, and executive.
Now the dynamic duo have moved on from headphones to the Beats Music service. Employing the likes of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), the subscription service wants to give a more human feel to the world of streaming music. Featuring some of the best DJ’s and notable music lovers in the business, the Spotify and Pandora competitor wants the listener to be able to feel the music. Iovine believes music is about more than algorithms.
“When I met Eminem and played him for Dre, everyone said Dre can’t sign a white rapper. And some of the smartest people I know told me that no one is going to pay for audio, because they get it for free every time they buy a phone or an MP3 player. But, of course, they will. Who won’t pay for emotion?”
The Beats product has never been shy about asking customers to pay. With headphones priced as high as $450, smart marketing has them pulling in an estimated $1.5 billion in sales revenue just last year. Featuring athletes like San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, Beats by Dre have found their way into almost every popular niche. And marketing will be the key to getting Beats Music off the ground, according to industry experts.
That’s why Beats Music has teamed up with AT&T, Target, and Ellen Degeneres to get their product known. While competitor Spotify grew almost solely through organic word of mouth in the US, the Beats Music App will use star power and aggressive strategies to get the word out. The music service will be available as a family plan on AT&T for just $14.99. That deal includes five users and up to ten devices. Separately it would be a $50 value.
But can the Beats Music App become the music industry standard for how listeners engage with their favorite songs? With downloaded sales slowing dramatically, many are wondering if music needs a new sound. Maybe Beats Music is the answer. Will you be trying out the Beats Music App?