Spotify has held the throne for a while now. Enter Dr. Dre and his Beats.
It’s difficult to launch a new brand these days. Consumers like to buy from trusted sources, and when it comes to headphones, they don’t come trustworthier than Sony, Sennheiser and Bose. That was until Dr. Dre decided to enter the game, launching his Beats by Dre range of headphones into an already saturated market.
Dr. Dre's Beats Empire is about to expand even further
What happened next is common knowledge: his brand became one of the most sought after, fashionable and renown in the world. Suddenly, people were willing to spend $200 on a pair of headphones. With sports stars, celebrities and basically everyone else wearing the Beats logo over their ears, expansion was inevitable; so the announcement of a streaming service to rival Spotify from the music mogul wasn’t a surprise.
It speaks volumes that, according to Reuters, Beats were in talks with Apple regarding a streaming service team up. The ongoing rumor confounded most, as Apple isn’t exactly partial to entering into partnerships with other, well-known brands. It’s not impossible to discount Dre’s Beats, but it would be futile; the streaming marketplace is - like the headphone’s was when Dre entered it – difficult to maneuver.
But with a solid, trusted brand behind it already, Streaming by Dre has a considerable leg up. And with the name already in everyone’s ears, if not on their tongues, the next step is getting the functionality right. "Right now, these things are all utilities. It's give me your credit card, here's 12 million songs, good luck..." said Jimmy Iovine - CEO of Beats Electronics - of the streaming service.
"We have an entire generation that was brought up on sound being inferior, and sound is the only conduit for emotion that we have. We've had ten very bad years in the audio industry. So we want the best possible quality, and it will have global scale. So it will be a balance of those things" (Guardian)
Trent Reznor is chief creative officer at Beats
Launching in January, the service will be going up against Google’s music streamer, Google Music, iTunes Radio – Apple’s attempt – and Deezer: a UK service rolling out to the U.S soon. Nobody said it would be easy for Dre, but considering the phenomenal business acumen that lead to Beats’ success, it looks as though January is just the next chapter for the rapper-turned-business extraordinaire.