Report: Apple Is Targeting Spotify With Beats Revamp
March 26, 2015 at 4:21 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports, "APPLE is pressing ahead with a sweeping overhaul of its digital music services that would allow the company to compete directly with streaming upstarts like SPOTIFY."
The report explains, "Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for BEATS, the maker of hip headphones and a streaming music service, APPLE is working with BEATS engineers and executives to introduce its own subscription streaming service. The company is also planning an enhanced iTUNES RADIO that may be tailored to listeners in regional markets, and, if APPLE gets what it wants, more splashy new albums that will be on iTUNES before they are available anywhere else, according to people briefed on the company’s plans."
Earlier this month (NET NEWS 3/9), ALL ACCESS told you that APPLE executives want the music industry to fight back against free streaming, according to a report by RECODE's PETER KAFKA, planning to offer the relaunched BEATS service at $8/month without a free version as rivals SPOTIFY and YOUTUBE offer.
APPLE has been working behind the scenes to relaunch BEATS, and, "in a sign of how important BEATS is in reshaping APPLE’s digital music, the company has made a musician a point man for overhauling the iPHONE’s music app to include the streaming music service, as opposed to an engineer. TRENT REZNOR, the NINE INCH NAILS frontman who was the chief creative officer for BEATS, is playing a major role in redesigning the music app, according to two APPLE employees familiar with the product, who spoke on the condition they not be named because the plans are private."
The big remaining question will be price. Will APPLE offer a free version? "According to several music executives, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private, APPLE recently tried but failed to persuade record labels to agree to lower licensing costs that would have let APPLE sell subscriptions to its streaming service for $8 a month -- a discount from the $10 that has become standard for services like SPOTIFY, RHAPSODY and RDIO," writes THE TIMES.