Listen up, there's a new music streaming service on the way, from the musical minds behind Beats By Dr. Dre headphones.
Beats Music may cultivate – or rejuvenate – your love of recorded music.
And it could also press "Play" on a new wave of evolution in streaming music. The new service from Beats Electronics, the company best known for its Beats By Dr. Dre headphones, becomes available Jan. 21 ($10 monthly fee).
But I've had a chance to test-drive the still-in-beta testing mode service over the last few days – a full-fledged review will come closer to launch – and have to admit that I am smitten.
Upon opening the app the first time, Beats Music asked for three favorite genres – choices include Pop, Rock, Country, Hip-hop, Blues – and three artists that you like or love – Rolling Stones, Alan Jackson, fun, for example – to provide some input for its music presentation algorithm.
Its resulting elegantly-designed entry screens on my IPhone 5s offered multiple opportunities for music discovery. Underneath the opening "Just For You" page. I find a Foo Fighters family tree playlist – complete with text introduction – and clickable albums such as General Public's All the Rage and Minus the Bear's Menos El Oso.
Scroll down a bit and you see a "Best of Lindsey Buckingham" playlist and a mix called "Sleek and Sexy Pre-Dinner Drinks with selections from Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Lorde.
Other sections let you choose music based on your mood and situation, while another offers timely highlights such as an introduction to the Everly Brothers (Phil Everly died last week).
You can search the service's 20 million-plus songs by artist and – while there's no music from The Beatles or Led Zeppelin – you'll find big names such as The Rolling Stones, Adele and Kanye West.
The music quality was top-notch and I was able to download playlists to listen to while on my flight back from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor of Beats Music, say this new music streaming service is unlike any other and it will change the music landscape.
Should the service gain momentum – and it's built on the user-centric MOG service that Beats acquired in 2012 – you can expect converts among artists and labels.
Already, AT&T is on board with an economical $15 monthly family plan. Another major player, wireless speaker company Sonos, plans to have Beats Music operational on its speakers and music systems on Day One. More collaborations will likely become public as the launch date nears.
With music industry support behind Beats Music – Innerscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine also co-founded Beats with Dr. Dre – more artists and labels may embrace the technology. And all of this attention paid to Beats Music in the coming weeks will likely spark innovation from industry leaders Pandora and Spotify, as well as more recent entries such as iTunes Radio and Xbox Music.
With consumer spending on streaming music to generate an estimated $5 billion globally this year and increase to more than $46 billion by 2018, as estimated by ABI Research, there should be plenty of business to go around.
Beats Music represents a major advance toward the musical Holy Grail of an all-inclusive, omniscient – and user-friendly – Jukebox in the Sky.