|Beats Music, LLC|
Type of site
|Internet radio, on-demand music|
|Launched||January 21, 2014|
|Developer(s)||Beats Electronics (Apple, Inc.)|
|Initial release||January 21, 2014|
|Operating system||Android 4.0 and above
iOS 6.0 and above
Windows Phone 8 and above
Beats Music is a subscription-based online music streaming service owned by the Beats Electronics division of Apple, Inc. First developed in 2012 under the name "Daisy", the service combines algorithm-based personalization with expert music suggestions from a variety of sources. The service builds upon Beats' existing consumer electronics line, and its 2012 acquisition of the similar service MOG. The service launched in the United States on January 21, 2014.
On July 2, 2012, Beats announced it had acquired the online music service MOG, in a purchase reported to have been between $10 million to $16 million. Beats stated that the acquisition was part of the company's goal to develop a "truly end-to-end music experience." The acquisition did not include the company's blog and advertising network, the MOG Music Network, which was sold in a separate transaction to the broadcasting company Townsquare Media in August 2012. MOG initially indicated that it would continue to operate independently with no immediate change in service.
A few months later in December 2012, the company hired Trent Reznor of the band Nine Inch Nails to serve as its Chief Creative Officer, and to help develop a new music service codenamed "Daisy". As opposed to its competitors such as Spotify, Daisy planned to use a combination of personalization based on user listening habits, in combination with expert music curators. The company initially announced a launch by late 2013. The company had hired music industry members, radio personalities, and songwriters to serve as a music curation team for the service, led by former Clear Channel Communications executive and KIIS-FM music director Julie Pilat.
In August 2013, a landing page was discovered for Daisy under its final name, "Beats Music". The service was officially unveiled in January 2014, for a launch in the United States on January 21, 2014. In February 2014, Beats Music reached a licensing deal with the Merlin Network, a group representing a number of major independent record labels. While no financial details were disclosed, Beats did indicate that it would pay the labels at the same rates as the major labels.
On March 4, 2014, Beats Music acquired Topspin Media, a company which deals in the monetization of music and building relationships between musicians and their fans. Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers had left Topspin to join the service.
On May 28, 2014, Apple Inc. announced it was buying both Beats Electronics and Beats Music for US$3 billion in a cash and stock deal. The Wall Street Journal reported that had Apple valued Beats Music at "slightly less than $500 million." The fate of Beats Music under Apple was left unclear, as it already operates the competing (but ad-supported) service iTunes Radio. Following the purchase, it was reported that Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers would oversee both iTunes Radio and Beats Music. It was later reported by Business Insider that Apple was planning to merge the two services together as the centerpiece of a redesigned version of iTunes that would focus extensively on music streaming as opposed to its music store. Apple had hired noted British radio DJ Zane Lowe to serve as a music curator.
Beats Music offers a library of over 20 million songs that can be streamed on-demand by users, and has deals with all three major record labels. Users can download songs for offline playback, which remain accessible for the period of their subscription. The service uses a personalization system combining recommendations based on listening habits and algorithms with human curation and playlists from music professionals, including other "guest" curators, such as Rolling Stone, Rap Radar, and Pitchfork. Song searches prioritize the original, master recordings of songs over other versions (such as covers). A feature known as "The Sentence" allows users to generate playlists by filling four blanks in a sentence with words describing various activities, moods, and genres.
The basic subscription plan allows access to the service on three devices for $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year; alongside a web-based interface, apps are available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Sonos announced that Beats Music would also support its wireless speaker systems on launch. A family plan with support for up to 5 people and 10 devices is also available for $14.99 per month was exclusive to family plan subscribers on AT&T Mobility. AT&T subscribers are also able to access a longer free trial period.
An advertisement for the service starring Ellen DeGeneres was aired during Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014. Spoofing the fairy tale The Three Bears, the ad featured Ellen playing the role of Goldilocks.
Beats Music has employed the help of a variety of high profile individuals to promote their service. They advertised the accounts of celebrities including Lebron James, Ellen DeGeneres, and Eminem to attract potential subscribers to their music service with their custom playlists for a variety of activities.
- Jimmy Iovine - Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
- Dr. Dre - Co-founder
- Luke Wood - President
- Bozoma Saint John - Senior Vice President, Head of Global Marketing
- Trent Reznor - Chief Creative Officer
- Ian Rogers - Chief Executive Officer
- Matthew Costello - Chief Operating Officer
- Mike Snider (2 July 2012). "Beats Electronics acquires MOG music service". USA Today. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Charlie Warzel (2 July 2012). "Beats Electronics Acquires Mog Rapper Dr. Dre's headphone makers scoop up digital streaming service". Adweek. Adweek. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Rhian Jones (24 August 2012). "Remaining half of Mog Music Network sells to Townsquare Media Group". MusicWeek. Intent Media. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Trent Reznor to launch streaming music service in partnership with Beats by Dre". The Verge. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Beats Music Beefs Up Curation Team, Says Service Is 'Coming Soon'". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Trent Reznor's Beats-backed music service will launch in late 2013". The Verge. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Beats Music arrives January 21st, family plan exclusive to AT&T customers". The Verge. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Beats Music Courting Indies, Signs Up Merlin (Exclusive)". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Beats Music Buys Topspin". Billboard. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Apple to Acquire Beats Music & Beats Electronics". Apple Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Apple Paying Less Than $500 Million for Beats Music Streaming Service". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "With Apple-Beats Deal Complete, Ian Rogers To Run iTunes Radio". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "What we're hearing about the new music-streaming service Apple is developing in secrer". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Algorithm for Your Personal Rhythm". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Beats Music taps Ellen DeGeneres (and bears) for Super Bowl spot". The Verge. Retrieved 5 February 2014.