Dr. Dre’s Beats brand releases Beats Music, its first ever app

Callum Tennent
February 18, 2014

The only thing surprising about the announcement of Beats Music is the timing.

Rap icon Dr. Dre’s billion-dollar Beats brand has been as much a fashion statement as a tech powerhouse since its foundation in 2006, and the idea that it took the company so long to enter the streaming/app game is genuinely surprising.

Beats Music is, in essence, an internet streaming service. There’s already a few mammoth rivals out there – services like Spotify, Pandora and Rdio are practically household names. However, Beats’ ideology has always leaned towards creating a great USP rather than being the outright best.

Just like how Beats headphones are widely considered to be…well…pretty technically poor for a super-high-end pair of headphones, their fashion appeal and status make them a best-selling product.

So what’s Beats Music’s hook? Dre clearly reckons that users will enjoy the app’s quirky playlist-building features.

Rather than search for an artist, select a song and start listening as you do on most internet radio apps, Beats Music constructs playlists around your unique input.

‘The Sentence’, for example, asks you to fill out a Mad Lib-style verbal equation and delivers you a playlist built around that. For example “I’m [on a boat] and feel like [going back in time]  with [my family] to [vintage soul and funk]”. For those parentheses, enter any number of specific answers to create an endless amount of possibilities. The result is a playlist refreshingly in touch with how you’re feeling at that exact moment.

Another feature is ‘Just For You’, which asks you to select a number of genres and then a number of artists within them. The result is similar to Pandora – you get to listen to a ton of music you already know and love, whilst getting introduced to something similar that you might not have heard before.

Available on iOS, Android and Windows phones, the service is ad free with a library of 20 million tracks. Playlists can also be saved for offline use, should you find yourself up in the air or underground or anywhere without a web connection.

The one downside is that it is a paid subscription service. And at $10 per month, it’s not a cheap one either. Still, the app looks fantastically well designed as you would expect from the brand name it carries, and its features are unique and interesting enough. Curious users reluctant to drop $120 per year can download a credit card-free one-month trial and see if it works for them.


About the Author

Callum Tennent

International playboy/tech journalist.

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