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Business News (more headlines) 01-12-2014

Beats Music Is Here

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Beats Music announced the new music streaming subscription service officially launches in the US on January 21, 2014. Developed and led by a team of executives that have spent their entire careers in service of music, fans, and artists– Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Luke Wood, Trent Reznor, and Ian Rogers- Beats Music brings fans and music lovers an unparalleled personalized and curated listening experience that answers two important questions: "What should I listen to?" and "what song comes next?"

"Beats Music is the final piece in making that vision a reality."

"Popular music is created in bite size pieces, one song at a time – but most people need more than four minutes to be truly satisfied," said Jimmy Iovine. "It takes a highly curated, uninterrupted sequence of songs to achieve a fulfilling music experience, where the only song as important as the song you are listening to is the song that comes next."

At launch, all music fans are invited to a free trial of Beats Music, after which a $9.99/month subscription fee will apply. The service will be available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone as well as via the web beginning January 21st. Fans can stream their music or download to listen offline.

"Beats was created so people could hear the music the way the artists intended, but speakers were just the first step," said Luke Wood, President of Beats Electronics. "Beats Music is the final piece in making that vision a reality."

Music Curated Just for You

Beats Music features a vast catalog of more than 20 million fully licensed songs from all the major labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, as well as all independent labels– managed and maintained by a team of music experts with hundreds of years of curatorial expertise. Led by radio programming vet Julie Pilat, the Beats Music genre lead curation team includes:

* Former Pitchfork Media editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef
* Former digital content director at XXL Carl Chery
* Veteran Detroit radio music director Suzy Cole
* Recording Academy music blogger Arjan Writes
* Former Rhino Records A&R Director Mason Williams
* Los Angeles hip-hop radio personality Fuzzy Fantabulous
* Country music writer Ken Tucker
* Former Programmer of L.A.’s hugely successful Latino 96.3, Jerry Pullés

Beats Music also features a comprehensive collection of editorialized playlists from some of the most well-respected music brands in the world, including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, DJ Mag, Country Weekly, Hot97/Power 106, among many others.

"Beats Music combines the emotion only a human created playlist can give you with the best personalization technology can deliver, " said Ian Rogers, Beats Music CEO. "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."

Artist-Friendly

Beats Music is committed to the principle that music has real value and will be acting accordingly by paying the same royalty rate to all content owners major and indie alike, while simultaneously providing a platform for fan interaction.

"Beats Music is based on the belief that all music has value and this concept was instilled in every step of its development. We want it to be just as meaningful for artists as it is for fans," said Trent Reznor, who serves as Beats Music Chief Creative Officer. "We’re committed to providing revenue to artists, while helping to strengthen the connection with their fans."

AT&T Collaboration

Through an exclusive deal with AT&T, Beats Music will be available to AT&T wireless customers on a multiline account for $14.99 a month. AT&T and Beats Music make it easy for families to enjoy the music they love all under one plan. Up to five family members across 10 devices can access the Beats Music service and get their own personal music on their own personal devices.

For a limited time, only AT&T wireless customers who subscribe to the family offer of Beats Music get the first 90 days free. AT&T customers who don’t qualify for the family offer can subscribe to Beats Music Individual for $9.99/month and will receive the first 30 days free. Beats Music will also be available in AT&T stores and online at www.att.com/beatsmusic on January 24, 2014.

"We’ve had a great relationship with Beats for years, and our expanded collaboration on this break-through service addresses the challenges that exist with current music subscription services today – lack of unique personalization and high costs to enjoy premium music for the family," said David Christopher, AT&T Mobility Chief Marketing Officer. "Once again, we’re delivering the most innovative services to mirror the way our customers live. AT&T developed an innovative plan that lets each member of the family enjoy the music they love, as well as access to all that is unique about Beats Music – all at breakthrough value on a premium wireless network."

Target Retail Partnership

Beats Music has selected Target, one of the largest music retailers in the country, as the exclusive retail partner to curate playlists for the streaming service, and the only place to purchase prepaid Beats Music gift cards. Target will curate a varied mix of music inspired by the retailer’s rich heritage of music and entertainment offerings, as well as its spirited brand essence. Beats Music prepaid gift cards will be available only at Target in denominations of $10, $25 or $50, for guests who want to give subscriptions to friends and family. As part of the partnership, Target will offer guests a free one-month trial of Beats Music with any purchase made at the Electronics & Entertainment counter the week of Jan. 26.

"At Target, music is an important part of our DNA, and we fuel our guests’ passion for it by collaborating with top names in the industry to deliver exclusive music experiences," said Anne Stanchfield, divisional merchandise manager, Entertainment. "With this partnership, Target joins an exciting list of expert curators to offer Beats Music listeners varied playlists that reflect the significance of music to Target and to our guests."

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