Beats has wrapped Dr. Dre branded headphones on craniums the world over. Now it's looking to provide the tunes coming out of said 'phones.
Beats Music is a streaming service that lets subscribers browse millions of tunes from their smartphone, create custom playlists, listen to automatically generated stations and download whole albums for offline play.
Sound familiar? Yep, on paper it's pretty close to the Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music All Access model. So how is it different? Beats promises both a more personalized experience, and tons of catered contents from musical aficionados around the world. It's all roped together by a slick, mobile only experience.
We've had lots of hands on time with Beats Music for the iPhone since it launched in the United States on Tuesday. While the ringing in our ears fades, allow us to compare and contrast Beats Music with Spotify, which is sure to be its chief rival.
Beats Music vs Spotify: availability
A UK release date for Beats Music? Sorry, no word on that one yet. Whereas Spotify is available in numerous countries around the world, Beats seems to be slowing its roll, dipping a toe into the US market only, for now.
Beats Music vs Spotify: recommendations
This is where Beats is looking to set itself apart from competition. While both services examine your musical preferences and try to serve tracks you'll like, Beats puts these offerings right on the home screen.
Beats also serves up playlists from celebrities, musical tastemakers and publications like Pitchfork and XXL.
Beats Music vs Spotify: platforms
Beats Music is mobile only, meaning no web player, no dedicated app for your Mac or PC. Spotify, however, can play through your browser or from a native application.
While Beats may be mobile only, it does have its bases covered. Its iOS and Android apps are available right now, with a Windows Phone 8 app to launch on Friday.
Beats Music vs Spotify: music selection
Both Beats and Spotify claim to have over twenty million tracks. However, only Spotify has Led Zeppelin.
Neither service has a complete Radiohead discography, as Thom Yorke has a decidedly negative opinion of streaming services and the way they treat artists.
The Beatles are also absent from both services. Spotify is sort of faking it with a bunch of covers and Beatles tribute band. Beats Music is less confusing, with a few band interviews in place of albums.
Beats Music vs Spotify: pricing
Spotify offers both a free and a premium version, whereas Beats Music is pay to play only. Spotify's free version has advertisements, and lets you stream music on your computer, tablet or phone. Pony up $10/£10 a month and Spotify loses the ads, and lets you store music locally, so you don't have to eat up your data plan or suffer a service drop out when riding through a train tunnel.
Beats is basically the same deal, except with no free version. Those behind the service claim this will allow them to pay artists better (Beats pays indies and megastars the same rate, whereas Spotify does not).
AT&T mobile customers should know that they can get a special deal: five family members can have access across ten devices for $15 a month.