Today marks the launch of Beats Music, the new streaming music service spearheaded by Trent Reznor, Dr. Dre, and Interscope co-founder Jimmy Iovine. Users can now download Beats’ app for free for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone. However, after an initial trial run of seven days, Beats’ paid subscription service kicks in. An individual plan goes for $10 a month, while a family plan allowing for four separate users is priced at $15 a month.
Earlier this month, we outlined Beats’ numerous features and how it intends to differentiate itself from competitors such as Spotify and Rdio. For one, Beats will supplement the use of algorithms with recommendations from a sizable pool of editors and guest programmers. Meanwhile, an automated listening game designed by Reznor called Right Now will allow users to build an ad hoc playlist incorporating four different variables: a place, an activity, a person, and a genre of music. For instance, if someone typed in, “I’m at the beach & feel like pre-partying with my friends to dance-pop”, the app would yield results for the Chemical Brothers, Lady Gaga, and Janet Jackson.
“My phone knows where I’m at, what I’m up to, what temperature it is,” Reznor explained in an interview with The New York Times. “It might even start to recognize locations I visit, patterns of motion. What if music could be collected in little parcels and served up to me effortlessly?”
Beats also intends to offer higher royalty rates to artists, something which should please Thom Yorke, Beck, and others who have been critical of services like Spotify.