Posts Tagged ‘Beats Music’

Beats-Music

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.

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It’s pretty much common knowledge at this point that streaming is the future of the entertainment industry.  Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime cover almost all of your movie and TV needs.  Those that aren’t covered are usually available through various television channel’s apps.  The video streaming services have seen huge successes, to the point that all three of the main providers have become involved in original content.  Even WWE has gotten on the streaming bandwagon with it’s new online WWE Network (which is well worth the money, by the way.)

What’s missing in those success stories, however, is music streaming services.  According to Gizmodo none the streaming services are turning a profit.  Pandora, the oldest of the major streaming services with the largest user base, has been unable to turn a profit.  In fact, with its massive subscriber list of 75 million monthly users, the company was still able to lose $29 million.  It should be noted, however, the piece doesn’t designate whether that loss is since the company’s inception or just last year.  Still, the variable in this equation, however, is Spotify.  Since Spotify is a privately held company, they aren’t required to disclose their financial information.

That’s where cellular providers come in.  Recently, we’ve seen Beats Music partner with AT&T, and just last week it was announced that Spotify had struck a deal with Sprint.  Could this be the wave of the future?  Oddly, with these companies pairing off, add-on services are being paired with companies regardless of the carriers coverage.  If that were the case, where is Verizon’s streaming carrier?  Possibly the new iTunes streaming service, or would that be at odds with AT&T since their deal with Beats Music was in place prior to iTunes acquisition of BM.

My worry with all of this is the long term effect on both the streaming services as well as how one is tied to its cell carrier.  Sprint may now have a deal with Spotify, but they have terrible service in my area.  AT&T doesn’t have reception at any event where people gather.  Try getting a signal at a Blazers or Timbers game.  Not going to happen.  So now I don’t have an option for Beats – which really isn’t an issue as I’ve mentioned before.  I just switched to Verizon, which has great service, but no streaming partner yet.  What if I’m stuck with Zune Pass?  Oops, my bad, they’re XBox only now. 

If streaming services have to pair with cellular carriers to survive I fear for the future of recorded music.  The more corporate partners get involved, the more people that can censor what is said or advertise their own goods and services.  The streaming revolution has brought the music industry into the future, I don’t want to be forced back to the illegal downloading era.  I love Spotify.  It satisfies most all of my musical needs.  Sure, there are some artists or titles that aren’t on the service for various reasons, but it does right by me.  If services pair off like kids at the prom, though, I feel like I’m going to once again end up the wallflower.

–Brain Trust–