Surprise, surprise. It looks like Beats Music will be targeting primarily a Hip-Hop audience, much like its highly successful line of headphones. In an effort to distinguish itself from the dozens of other music streaming services, it will allow its subscribers exclusive access to New York’s Hot 97 and LA’s accompanying radio station Power 106. Not only that but certain influential personalities will also be able to create and distribute playlists for others to hear, and the first announced tastemaker is none of than the big boss of Hot 97, Ebro Darden.
It’s an interesting move from afar because it definitely accomplishes the goal of making Beats Music stand out against Spotify and Google Music, but at the same time by putting an open emphasis on Hip-Hop specific content, it also runs the risk of alienating a large portion of its potential market. And clocking a hefty $9.99 per month, it’s as pricey as Spotify and more expensive than video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so it will definitely take a bit of budgeting and persuasion to justify the expensive (in my mind, it’s still hard to shell out more dough for music than movies, but what do I know).
However, in its favor, Beats does have a staunchly lucrative track record of commanding absurdly high prices and making the consumer bend backwards to accommodate. Not to mention, the last saturated market they entered was supposed to be shut down to new competition and Beats brushed everyone aside without a second thought. Assuming it will translate all of its existing music and sports endorsers from the headphones to the streaming service, it’s very possible that would be the element that propels it beyond the other players in the space, who currently don’t have many personalities actively marketing it.
Beats Music launches Tuesday, January 21st.