Talking tech since 2003

Audio hardware maker Beats, co-founded by Dr. Dre and legendary producer Jimmy Iovine, has just launched its music subscription service, Beats Music.    Yes, I know what you’re saying; another music subscription app?  Don’t we already have enough of those?  The answer is yes, we do.  So it’s going to take some fancy footwork to get users to embrace a new music subscription.  We’ll give you our review tomorrow, but for now, here are the details of the launch:

The service lets you stream unlimited songs, with unlimited album downloads for $9.99 a month (the same price as the competition). You can even store songs for offline playback. It’s available in versions for Apple’s iOS devices, Android, Windows Phone and the web. It offers more than 20 million songs on demand, the ability to follow users, bands, and friends (you know the drill).   AT&T wireless customers can opt for a $15 family plan, which lets up to five family members listen on a total of up to ten devices.   Eligible AT&T subscribers can also receive up to a 3 month free trial, depending on their plan, instead of the standard seven-day trial period.


With download sales showing signs of tapering off and CD sales continuing their downward trajectory, the recorded music industry is looking to paid streaming services such as Beats to make up the difference.  But with a slew of competitors trying to do the same, including Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker, Rdio, Sony Music Unlimited, Xbox Music, Muve, Google Music and, likely later this year, Deezer and YouTube, Beats will have to offer something unique to keep it in the game.

Speaking of the game, Beats is scheduled to run a commercial during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at a cost of $4 million for each 30-second slot.

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