Menu
Why Apple needs Beats Music to keep its street cred

Why Apple needs Beats Music to keep its street cred

Apple should bundle iTunes Radio and Beats Music into a hybrid service with the largest library of songs in the business

Beats Music could rejuvenate Apple’s reputation as a music industry leader, which has fallen off as people forego 99-cent singles in favor of $9.99-per-month streaming subscriptions.

Beats Music could rejuvenate Apple’s reputation as a music industry leader, which has fallen off as people forego 99-cent singles in favor of $9.99-per-month streaming subscriptions.

Apple isn't shutting down Beats Music, the streaming music service it snagged as part of its $US3 billion deal to acquire Beats Electronics, but it needs to do something with the Spotify rival.

Reports of Beats Music's imminent demise swirled around the Internet on Monday, but Apple quickly denied the rumours, telling the New York Times flatly: "This is not true." Re/code noted that Beats Music will likely just lose its Beats branding and join the iTunes family.

When Apple bought Beats Electronics for the cool factor of the popular (and ubiquitous) headphones, the streaming service seemed like a bonus: Good to have, but not a high priority. But Beats Music could rejuvenate Apple's reputation as a music industry leader, which has fallen off as people forego 99-cent singles in favor of $9.99-per-month streaming subscriptions.

Beats by iTunes could kill Spotify

Apple is deeply entrenched in the music business after a decade of successfully helping artists and record labels make money online with iTunes. The company waded into Internet radio last year with iTunes Radio, a service that was a few years behind the curve and not exactly a game-changer. With streaming upstarts like Spotify and Rdio nipping at its heels--and racking up subscribers--Apple needs a new music strategy.

That's where Beats Music comes into play. Unlike other streaming services, Beats is based on curation: playlists it creates after getting to know you. One of its most unique features, The Sentence, lets you play Mad Libs for music to get a truly custom experience: "I'm ___ & feel like ___ with ___ to ____."

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke glowingly about Beats Music's qualities in a recent interview with Charlie Rose:

"One night, I'm sitting playing with [Beats Music] versus some others, and all of a sudden it dawns on me that when I listen to theirs for awhile, I feel completely different," Cook said. "And the reason is that they recognized that human curation was important in the subscription service; that the sequencing of songs that you listen to affect how you feel. It's hard to describe, but you know it when you feel it. And so that night--I couldn't sleep that night."

But though Cook recognizes how special Beats Music is, the subscription-only service needs help climbing over a few hurdles. It's only available in the US and has about 250,000 subscribers, far behind its competitors. It needs a little love and a lot of promotion to grow, which is where Apple's deep pockets, marketing power, and music industry partnerships are essential.

"I felt that we could get a subscription service, we could get incredible talent, and that I think we could all put our heads together and do some things that are beyond what either of us are currently doing, and we could get a fast-growing business," Cook continued.

iTunes is still an institution. It was the platform for the year's biggest music industry story: Beyoncé's overnight album drop. Apple should bundle iTunes Radio and Beats Music into a hybrid service with the largest library of songs in the business, and add some exclusives to sweeten the deal. Spotify won't know what hit them.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsinternetbusiness issuesAppleperipheralsInternet-based applications and servicesMusic and audioHeadphones and headsetsBeats Music

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months.

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019
Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosted its second annual alumnae breakfast for the Women in ICT Awards in New Zealand, designed to showcase the leading female leaders in the industry. Held at The Cordis in Auckland, attendees came together to hear inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, alongside high-level networking among peers. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards
Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 480 technology leaders in Auckland on 23 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, emerging entrants and innovative start-ups.

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners
Show Comments