If you know me well you know that more than twenty years ago you would have found me sitting in a closet at Indiana University writing a NeXTSTEP app to allow you to search the card catalog and stream .au audio files across campus from an RS6000 server. This afternoon I’m sitting in an office in San Francisco with a talented team who hasn’t slept much in too many days doing something basically similar, but across the whole of America instead of IU’s Bloomington campus and on a huge stage with the billion dollar brand Beats and the support of an all star board/exec team including Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor, Dr. Dre, and Luke Wood. It’s been a crazy twenty years, a journey I wouldn’t trade for the world, and it’s difficult not to feel it’s all been leading up to this day (for those who know me less well, some of that journey is captured in this Wired article).
Today we released Beats Music, the first unlimited streaming and download service that (IMHO) can honestly call itself a “service” and not a “server” in that it’s “of service” to the listener beyond just providing access to a catalog of music. It’s available today on your iPhone, Android phone, Web browser or Sonos. A Windows Phone version is coming later this week. If you’re an AT&T subscriber you can get unlimited streaming and downloads for up to 5 people on your family plan for $14.99/month, a deal never-before offered. Individuals can get Beats Music for $9.99/month. More on my thoughts on what makes this service different from others out there in this Beats Music blog post.
If you like it, please take a moment and give us a positive review in your platform’s app store. Thanks sincerely.
If there’s one criticism that’s been lobbed at us most often over the past couple of weeks it’s regarding our lack of a free, ad-supported version of Beats Music. This is a very thoughtful and conscious decision. We see more than 25 million people paying more than $10/month for satellite radio, 100 million people paying an average of $1,000/year for cable and satellite. We think ~$100/year for a service that brings you the right song for right now (and knows what song comes next) is a tremendous bargain. I’ll give you my personal view: If you’re the kind of person who pays ~$1,000/year for cable and refuse to spend ~$100/year on a great music service, you and I look at the world very differently from one another. If music, and a service that brings you great music experiences and playlists from everyone from Pitchfork to Downbeat to Mojo to Thrasher isn’t worth $100/year to you I’m afraid we don’t have much in common. Or put more specifically, if you are ok with the playlist below being interrupted by a loud insurance ad, music doesn’t define the moments of your life the same way it does mine:
I sat with The Verge last week in NYC and shared a few thoughts on Beats Music, captured in the video below.
We’ve put our lives into this. We love music. We love the curation inside Beats Music. We love the joy having Beats Music in our pocket brings. We’re incredibly proud to be able to share it with you. We hope you love it, too. We hope you love it enough to part with your hard-earned cash and subscribe to Beats Music. If you do, we get to keep doing this, and we will write bigger and bigger checks to labels, distributors, and publishers every month. It means a lot to us when you join us on this journey.
ps – Auspiciously, this is the same day the classic Black Sabbath albums are being released to streaming services like ours. Somebody up/down there is rooting for us.