Beats Music: Making Streaming a Family Affair
    • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2014

    • Posted by: David Moffly

    Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and the rest of the Beats Music crew need to send John Legere at T-Mobile a thank you fruit basket. This may sound confusing but here is the logic. Legere's and T-Mobile's ultra aggressive marketing tactics in the last few months have put immense competitive pressure on the other players (ATT and Verizon) to develop and roll out competitive pricing programs to keep their customers. In the past, carriers were secure that the two-year contract model had secured their user base into a reliable cash machine. John Legere has thrown this model on the floor and stomped on it with his promise to pay off the cancellation penalties and I have to believe the other carriers are not happy about it. This audacious marketing gambit combined with the decline in the American public's love affair with the relentless device upgrade cycle and the emergence of quality lower cost phones (the Moto G) is changing the market landscape very quickly.

    The effect on my monthly cell phone bill has been immense My bill for my 10 GB Family Plan with six devices has declined from nearly $400 to a little more than $160 per month in the last few months (no phones are under contract). But really, why does this mean Beats Music wins?

    Simply the decline in my ATT bill made me look at Beats as a resolution to a chronic pain point for my largely, Android family; bridging the annoying iTunes to Android handset divide. The pricing of $15/month for up to 5 users and 10 devices is a cheap, easy, and immediate solution to this always aggravating problem. Its closest Family Plan rival is Rdio, who offers small 'families' of two unlimited service for $17.99 per month. Had the competitive pressure placed on ATT never alleviated the heavy burden for the monthly service I was felling, I would never have considered adding Beats Music to my monthly mix. See how that works? I can't be along in the situation...or I won't be alone soon.

    What we now have on our family phones is more than a cheap/easy fix for my music crazy family. From the bones of the MOG Music Service, Beats has resurrected something that feels fresh and fun on the handset. What could have felt like a "stop the whining" fix has turned into something else entirely. The interface engages and entertains while it seamlessly performs its music discovery tasks. This is a crowd pleaser...at least in my family.
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