Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will soon face another challenger in the crowded Internet music-streaming arena. Beats Music, the premium headphone company founded by Jimmy Iovine and hip hop artist Dr. Dre, has announced that it will soon be launching a subscription music-streaming service, reports Bloomberg. Beats Music service will compete with other online music-streaming services, including iTunes Radio, Pandora (NYSE:P), and Spotify.
However, unlike Apple’s iTunes Radio and most other competitors, Beats Music will not offer an ad-supported version of its music-streaming service. According to Beats Music’s website, the service will be available as a $9.99 a month subscription. Apple’s iTunes Radio is only offered ad-free if you are a subscriber to the company’s cloud-based iTunes Match service.
Beats Music is also partnering with AT&T (NYSE:T) to offer a 90-day free trial period for the carrier’s subscribers that will be followed by a special introductory group rate of $14.99 for up to five users. AT&T will launch its Beats Music deal on January 24. However, Beats Music will first become available for Apple’s iPhone, Android smartphones, and Windows Mobile devices, as well as online, starting on January 21.
Beats Music has also partnered with retail giant Target (NYSE:TGT) to promote its new music-streaming service. Beats Music prepaid gift cards will be exclusively available at Target and the retailer will also offer customers a free one-month trial of Beats Music with any purchase made at the Electronics & Entertainment counter during the week of January 26.
According to the Beats Music’s website, its music-streaming service will focus on “human curated playlists and hand-selected songs” along with a software that selects music based on previous listening habits. However, Beats Music noted that it wouldn’t use customer feedback options like the ones used by many other music-streaming services. For example, Apple’s iTunes Radio allows customers to make adjustments to their automated music stream by marking songs as “Play More Like This” or “Never Play This Song.”
“We tried to remember a time a robot found us magic but all we could find were the times the robot made us laugh,” stated Beats Music. “’You like Pantera? Have you heard of Black Sabbath? You like Mumford and Sons? Here’s another song with banjos!’”
“Beats Music combines the emotion only a human created playlist can give you with the best personalization technology can deliver,” stated Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers. “With this you get not just the music experience only a talented DJ or music expert can deliver, but also the right one for you right now.”
Although it remains to be seen if this music-streaming newcomer can woo Apple users away from Apple’s relatively new iTunes Radio, it should be noted that Beats Music has had incredible success in the headphones industry. According to IDC data cited by Bloomberg, Beats Music currently holds a 65 percent share of the headphone market.
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