Beats Music, On Your Phone Today

If you know me well you know that more than twenty years ago you would have found me sitting in a closet at Indiana University writing a NeXTSTEP app to allow you to search the card catalog and stream .au audio files across campus from an RS6000 server. This afternoon I’m sitting in an office in San Francisco with a talented team who hasn’t slept much in too many days doing something basically similar, but across the whole of America instead of IU’s Bloomington campus and on a huge stage with the billion dollar brand Beats and the support of an all star board/exec team including Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor, Dr. Dre, and Luke Wood. It’s been a crazy twenty years, a journey I wouldn’t trade for the world, and it’s difficult not to feel it’s all been leading up to this day (for those who know me less well, some of that journey is captured in this Wired article).

Beats Music

Today we released Beats Music, the first unlimited streaming and download service that (IMHO) can honestly call itself a “service” and not a “server” in that it’s “of service” to the listener beyond just providing access to a catalog of music. It’s available today on your iPhone, Android phone, Web browser or Sonos. A Windows Phone version is coming later this week. If you’re an AT&T subscriber you can get unlimited streaming and downloads for up to 5 people on your family plan for $14.99/month, a deal never-before offered. Individuals can get Beats Music for $9.99/month. More on my thoughts on what makes this service different from others out there in this Beats Music blog post.

Download Beats Music from one of the links at and dive in to this quick start guide to become an instant expert:

If you like it, please take a moment and give us a positive review in your platform’s app store. Thanks sincerely.

If there’s one criticism that’s been lobbed at us most often over the past couple of weeks it’s regarding our lack of a free, ad-supported version of Beats Music. This is a very thoughtful and conscious decision. We see more than 25 million people paying more than $10/month for satellite radio, 100 million people paying an average of $1,000/year for cable and satellite. We think ~$100/year for a service that brings you the right song for right now (and knows what song comes next) is a tremendous bargain. I’ll give you my personal view: If you’re the kind of person who pays ~$1,000/year for cable and refuse to spend ~$100/year on a great music service, you and I look at the world very differently from one another. If music, and a service that brings you great music experiences and playlists from everyone from Pitchfork to Downbeat to Mojo to Thrasher isn’t worth $100/year to you I’m afraid we don’t have much in common. Or put more specifically, if you are ok with the playlist below being interrupted by a loud insurance ad, music doesn’t define the moments of your life the same way it does mine:

Baby Makin Music

I sat with The Verge last week in NYC and shared a few thoughts on Beats Music, captured in the video below.

We’ve put our lives into this. We love music. We love the curation inside Beats Music. We love the joy having Beats Music in our pocket brings. We’re incredibly proud to be able to share it with you. We hope you love it, too. We hope you love it enough to part with your hard-earned cash and subscribe to Beats Music. If you do, we get to keep doing this, and we will write bigger and bigger checks to labels, distributors, and publishers every month. It means a lot to us when you join us on this journey.

Thank you.


ps – Auspiciously, this is the same day the classic Black Sabbath albums are being released to streaming services like ours. Somebody up/down there is rooting for us.


  1. Jody McKinley wrote:

    Congratulations Ian. You guys have done a nice job with the product.

  2. Travis wrote:

    I’ve been playing with the iOS version since last night, and you guys are off to a great start. Totally agree with your justifications behind not having a free service, also. One of my favorite comments from your facebook yesterday was (paraphrasing) “you guys would have so many more customers if you didn’t charge”. Umm…yeah…

    Anyway, some of us are willing to pay for a quality service. I wish you guys much success.

  3. Tracy Moon wrote:

    So stoked to see you making this happen, and on your terms. Thanks for everything sir!

  4. Jason wrote:

    Proud of you. And impressed very much with the launch.

  5. Dave wrote:

    There is no doubting you’re right where you should be Ian. Way to go man.

  6. Mike Dzl wrote:

    Kudos to the team for pulling everything together for the launch today. Solid summary above also, good CEO’ing sir! :)

  7. brian cors wrote:

    As soon as I heard you were involved with this – it all made perfect, beautiful sense. Congrats on this launch – and for keeping on your passion-filled path, Ian!

  8. Stephen G wrote:

    Hmm, sorry but I will not Bite on this service. Not really a service that I will use. And I listen to 25~30 hours of music any given week. I like to stream Internet Music channels (most are free) along with my free internet only subscription to XM Radio I seem to keep finding online. Easy enough to stream my EDM or whatever flavor of music I want to listen too. I also create playlists of music I already own.

    Why pay someone again for content that is already free or what I already own.

    Sorry, not drinking your Kool-Aid.

    BTW, much prefer my sure headphones over anything Beats has ever or will ever put out. Attrocious design and not really great speakers.

    I just hope the sheeple don’t buy in too much….

  9. Jason Berland wrote:

    Mazeltov on the launch Ian! I can hear Pharrell singing “it’s a new day. G-d damn!” (Rap nerd clipse reference). Great UI. If I can make some suggestions:
    1. Make it easier to find new shit. Had to dig a little too deep to find that.
    2. Sentences missing some key adjectives like “I feel like singing in the shower”
    3. If you want to give it a human feel, then let top users become curators. Participation = engagement.
    Now I understand why you were iterating for over a year. Been playing with the app all day.
    Good shit!

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