Beats Music, the latest online venture to enter the highly competitive music subscription business, announced on Wednesday that it plans to debut it’s service in January 2014. Following the remarkable success of his Beats By Dre headphone line, Dr. Dre, along with Jimmy Iovine and new Beats Music CEO Ian Rodgers have created a service tailored toward artist-recommended playlists and suggestions, unlike Spotify which recommends music based on algorithmic formulas. Former Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, appointed Chief Creative Officer on the project, describes it as “…having your own guy when you go into the record store, who knows what you like but can also point you down some paths you wouldn’t necessarily have encountered.”
With its 2014 launch, Beats Music joins a continually expanding and crowded marketplace that features a number of established players. Along with Beats, French-based Deezer, which has proved successful in several countries worldwide, plans to enter the US in 2014 and compete with the likes of Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Slacker and Muve Music. In addition, YouTube is gearing up to release its “Music Pass” subscription service in the next year.
Aside from Reznor’s pledge to center playlists around artist recommendations, few details have emerged publicly about the service. Based on early marketing efforts however, Beats Music is showing it has the budget to go toe to toe with Spotify as the leader in subscription based streaming. In late November the company ran a full page advertisement in the New York Times to announce the soon-approaching launch, and consumers can also expect a television campaign in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, in an attempt to spark interest pre-launch, Beats’ is urging customers to reserve their domain name with the slogan “Beats Music Is Coming. Claim Your Name.” According to Rodgers, some influencers currently have access to the site to test and offer feedback, and Beats is making adjustments based on that feedback.