Does Apple Plan To Shut Down Beats Music? All Indications Are Yes!

Posted: September 23, 2014 in Articles
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So it appears that Apple is well on its way to shuttering the Beats Music app.  This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my posts regarding streaming music services.  Apple historically has shut down apps they purchase while eventually including the positive aspects of those apps in future updates of its own proprietary applications an programs.  I was in the beta trial for Beats Music and knew immediately and it was no threat to Spotify.  The lack of a desktop client made creating playlists extremely cumbersome to the point that I gave up on the service while still in my free trial.  Shortly after the brand’s arrival on the market, industry pundit Bob Lefsetz (if you don’t read his blog, you really should.  It can be found here) declared Spotify the winner.

According to technology site TechChunch, Apple will indeed be ending the upstart music streaming service at some point in the near future.  This is an interesting development as Apple TV just received a Beats Music app, which I’m sure is only to make Beats users feel at home on the service prior to being told they need to switch to whatever streaming app Apple has in the works.  According to the report, there is no time frame at the moment for the closing, sources close to the situation.  Additionally, it wouldn’t be the first time the Beats Music app was re-branded as it started its life as the Mog streaming service.


In fact, Apple has made no mention of the app recently even though they paid $3 billion for the service and its accompanying high-end headphones.  It should be noted that part of Apple’s strategy for the Beats empire was to lure Interscope chairman and Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine and rapper turned mega-producer Dr. Dre into the Apple fold.  If there is anything that Iovine has proven during his career it’s that he is a master of leveraging situations in his favor.  TechCrunch even had this tidbit:

The fact that the new iPhones did not come pre-installed with Beats Music, while several other Apple apps came loaded on the 6 and 6 Plus, should have been a red flag. There was also nothing said about Beats Music during the Apple Watch reveal, even though the service’s radio and fire-and-forget playlists could work well on a wearable.

 With all the hype a new Apple device creates, one would expect the inclusion of the Beats Music app to at least be mentioned.  In fact, not only was it not mentioned it wasn’t included on the preinstalled apps that come with a new device.  Apple did make mention of Beats Music in its roll out of iOS7, but nary a word was mentioned for iOS8.

Considering Apple’s penchant for simple, unified brands, and how it despises fragmentation, shutting down Beats Music makes a lot of sense. Running a second music service in parallel with iTunes that forces people to learn a whole new interface might have confused customers.

 Function has always been at the core of Apple’s initiatives.  When I switched from a PC to a Mac almost 15 years ago, to get the first gen iPod, I found Apple’s programs and overall layout to be very intuitive.  I recently had to use a PC again and found that the exact opposite was true.  PCs are cumbersome, unintuitive, and easily filled with bugs and malware.

Though its strategy was to differentiate itself through curated playlists and mood-based radio, those failed to capture the attention of mainstream listeners. Thanks to seven-day free trials and multi-month demos through AT&T, 5 million people had tried Beats by May, but only 250,000 had signed up for a paid subscription.

Getting 5 million people to try your product is an amazing number, but converting only 5% of those users is a terrible track record.  Iovine must have been livid his baby wasn’t able to capitalize and what he created was quickly dismissed by 95% of the consumers who tested the product.  For a man who’s track record includes breaking Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Dr. Dre, No Doubt, latter-era U2, Marilyn Manson, and the list goes on, Beats Music must be a massive personal defeat.  Then again, $3 billion can soothe many aches and pains including bruises to the ego.

Paris Hotel

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Beats Music.  I’m a tried and true Spotify user, but the first name to the game that can deliver me high definition music will ultimately win my business.  And when that happens, I’m sure you all will be the first to hear about it.



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