Beats introduced unto the world yet another way to listen to music Tuesday (January 21), as the popular headphone maker finally unveiled its Spotify/Deezer/Rdio competitor, Beats Music.
The streaming music service hit Web, iOS and Android devices today — a slick offering that combines features from existing services like Spotify (on-demand tunes and offline listening), Pandora (listening suggestions) and Songza (curated playlists).
When you first fire up the app — signing up via Twitter, Facebook or email — you’ll be led through a series of questions about what genres and artists you dig to better tailor your experience. You’ll then land on the homepage, which will suggest tunes based on your answers.
The app is broken up into four sections: “Just For You,” the aforementioned suggestion page; “The Sentence,” a cool little tool that lets you construct a sentence such as “I’m at home and feel like taking a selfie with your ex to dance” and a corresponding playlist; “Highlights,” a series of expert-curated playlists; and “Find It,” which lets you search by genre, activities (BBQing, being blue, etc), and curators.
Naturally, you’re also able to search for bands and albums — from a bank of more than 20 million songs — add tunes to your library and follow those bands for future updates. In addition, you can follow friends and influencers to check out what they’re listening to.
On the whole, the app is a sleek, easy-to-use (and easy on the eyes) alternative to more established deals like Spotify and Rdio. However, unlike those two, Beats does not have a free option.
Currently, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial, after which you’ll have to shell out $9.99 per month for unlimited listening. Users on AT&T luck out a little more than the rest of us: They can sign up for a family plan for $14.99 per month. Just another reason to call your mother.
Beats prides itself on being an artist-driven service: the team includes not only Trent Reznor, but also CEO Ian Rogers, former CEO of artist platform Topspin Media.
In previous interviews, Beats Co-founder and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Jimmy Iovine said that artists would be able to mine information from the service for their own devices, specifically the location of listeners. (Tailored tours, here we come!)
We’re not sure yet how that’s being made manifest for bands/artists, but the app does ask to use your location upon sign-in.
We’ve reached out to the Beats team for more information on how the service could benefit artists in the coming months.