Science and Tech


Beats, AT&T To Launch Music Streaming Service Jan. 21

Streaming service Beats Music touts curators and algorithm-based song selections for a more personal music experience.
Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 11, 2014

The streaming music scene is getting to be a bit crowded. Beats Electronics announced its streaming service, Beats Music, will hit iOS devices, Android, Windows and the Web Jan. 21. 

The same company behind the popular multicolored headphones hopes to take on all the competitors with a service that uses algorithms and curators to suggest music. At launch, Beats Music will offer users access to a library of nearly 20 million songs for $10 a month.

The service is also debuting an exclusive partnership with AT&T for a special $15 monthly family plan. The Verge reports at that price, AT&T will let five users stream songs to 10 devices. If families want to give it a test run, they can try it free for 30 days.  

Unlike other services, there's no free, ad-supported tier to get people started. You've got to pay to listen. But the reps at Beats Music say the big draw is the emphasis on human curation and how that feature will ultimately help users set the mood — whatever mood they're in. 

Jimmy Iovine, music legend and co-founder of Beats Electronics, told USA Today"Access to music and algorithms aren't enough. ... Music can fuel your highs and lows, but music doesn't do that with 'Here's 16 million songs and give me your credit card and good luck.' Our service will be of service."

Two other features users can look forward to are "Just For You" and "Right Now." The former is the default home screen, which offers up tailored playlists by in-house folks and outsiders such as music experts from Pitchfork magazine. "Right Now" lets you have a bit more fun with your music selection. Just add your location, mood, company, genre and voila! (Via Fast Company)

A reporter for The New York Times gave the service a test run and found the playlists weren't any better or worse than playlists by Beats Music's soon-to-be competitors but added, "The quality or originality of the service may matter less than its promotion, and in that Beats Music has a clear advantage."

Aside from the AT&T partnership, Beats plans to market its streaming service through plugs on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," placement in Target stores and a Super Bowl ad.