Can Beats Music beat the rest?
Beats Electronics released its own streaming platform, Beats Music on Jan. 21. The popular headphones, established by legendary rap artist and producer Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, have been successful since a 2008 debut.
The new streaming capability allows for offline music listening, though there is no free listening available like what you can find on Spotify or Pandora Radio. Beats did decide to offer a 14-day free trial shortly after its launch, but after that, a $10-per-month subscription is required for dedicated listeners.
So, besides the required payment, what sets Beat Music apart from all the other streaming services? Beats says its a human element. Instead of algorithms, the service relies on real-life people to provide listeners with music to enjoy.
Although there is a lot of potential for the new streaming service, it has run into a few problems: In its first week, the service had glitches on its Android app. It would not remember track positions. The cover art would not appear on the lock screen of the mobile device. Songs would erratically pause, and the app would spontaneously turn on.
After some updates, however, the service is said to have improved. While there may be some remaining bugs in the system, the potential is there. Looking at Apple Store reviews, consumers gave it an average of four stars.
With so many other streaming services out there, it's hard to say whether Beats Music will hold up because of Spotify, Pandora and Youtube's free access. Even with the human element aspect, it's still possible that it won’t help. Can a human really choose a larger variety of music in comparison to other services that use computer algorithms?
Luckily for listeners, the group of curators are experts coming from Rolling Stone Magazine, the Academy of Country Music, Pitchfork, Rap Radar and Friends of Beats.
Additionally, AT&T, according to the New York Post, is planning on offering a three-month promotion for current AT&T customers, though some restrictions apply, which gives users a $14.99 a month deal for a family Beat Music plan. This plan would be accessible to five members per AT&T account. However, this scheduled promotion was delayed on account of the problematic launch of Beats Music.
Listeners can download the application from the Apple App Store, Google Play and now the Windows Phone Store for a smartphone or online at its website.
Reach the Reporter at Mercedes.Santana@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @MercedesMS17