Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Beats Music Joins the Crowded Field of Streaming Music Startups

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

click to enlarge beats_music_grab.jpg

The music-streaming market just got a little more crowded. Today, Beats Music joins the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Rhapdsody, and many others -- and that's not even counting more radio-style services such as the ones offered by Pandora, Apple, and Google.

So what's special about Beats, besides the fact that Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor, and Jimmy Iovine are behind it? It's not the music -- with 20 million songs, it reportedly has about the same catalog as most of the other services. It's not the price, either: unlike Spotify or Rdio, there's no free option to use Beats Music. If you want it beyond a seven-day trial, you'll need to pay $9.99 a month.

Rather, the big feature Beats can offer that other services can't is a unique recommendation engine that takes into account your music preferences, both through genres and bands and through your mood and situation. Upon initial start-up, Beats asks what genres of music you like. You can tell it you love or hate certain artists as it selects songs. You can also complete a sentence based on what kind of music you're in the mood for -- a feature that the early reviews say works pretty well. (Others say that in the short time they used Beats, it didn't pick up the finer points of their tastes.)

So is Beats here to stay? There's no way to know now, as the so-called streaming wars are just heating up. Without having tried it, we can't say if Beats' unique features make it worth switching (or paying) for. But it's definitely making the streaming music market more interesting.

-- @iPORT

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Ian S. Port


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"