Beats Music recently announced that they would be launching on January 21st. Since that time a lot of details and service images have been leaked. Here is a quick run down of the new Beats Music and our thoughts.
No Free Option:
Beats Music was supposed to be a revolutionary service, but it doesn’t even come with a free option for listeners. This is going to make it very tough to get the subscribers numbers they need to make this sustainable. Why would I use Beats Music when I can listen to music for free on my mobile phone with Spotify? Well they hope it is because of the features (which we will go through later).
Mobile First Service:
Key Beats Music executives have been saying that its the first “mobile first” music subscription service. No mobile no play: Beats requires you to download its mobile apps before you can start your free trial. This mobile first is done because of some of the great new features they have exclusively on mobile devices.
Bios and No Topspin:
Bios are provided by Rovi and surprisingly there is no Topspin integration (considering the CEO came directly from that service).
Playlists from Famous Face and Industry Experts:
Beats Music seems to be putting all their eggs in one basket. Beats is banking on expert-driven curation to differentiate itself from other music services. I’m worried that this is a service that could be quickly implemented by any other music streaming service. It isn’t that hard to get celebrities to use the service and showcase playlists if they are getting paid!
The highlight section is the same as Spotify’s Discovery section. Its a personalised music magazine that gives you ideas about what you might want to listen too.
No Radio stations or Charts:
Im very surprised that Beats Music doesn’t offer any type of Radio station service like Pandora. Pandora has seen amazing growth and this sector will grow even further with the inclusion of iTunes Radio. Radio stations are a great lean back service for users and the music service doesn’t have to pay the high royalty rate.
Beats Music seems like a very interesting service and idea, but I really don’t think it improves very much on MOG (which Beats acquired to start this service). The only real difference is curated playlists, which im not sure will really appeal to the masses.
Beats Music will have a very big advertising budget! If the marketing is similar to Beats Headphones, which focuses on celebrity endorsements but they are very expensive for a bass’y pair of headphones. With celebrities endorsing Beats Music it will get early adoption, but Im not sure that alone is going to be sustainable.