Can Jay-z di­vert some of the stream away from Spo­tify?

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM -

The mu­sic stream­ing game just got real. In the bat­tle for pay­ing cus­tomers, Beats Mu­sic have brought in the real big guns. For­get about Ap­ple, Beats are now hawk­ing a verse by Jay Z on a track as an exclusive for cus­tomers. That’s right, a verse on a track.

We hope we’re not the only ones go­ing “huh?” at the idea of a verse from a rap­per whose cre­ative juice stopped flow­ing a while ago giv­ing a commercial ser­vice a com­pet­i­tive edge. But Beats Mu­sic, the ser­vice re­cently ac­quired for gazil­lions of dol­lars by Ap­ple, think this will help them in the num­bers game.

At the time of writ­ing, Beats have 250,000 cus­tomers com­pared to the 10 mil­lion claimed by Spo­tify. You can be sure that Jigga is get­ting paid well for the gig and that he won’t be the only big name per­suaded by Jimmy Iovine, Dr Dre and a big bag of cash to lend the Beats’ cam­paign some heft.

It’s a straight­for­ward game. Spo­tify are miles ahead of ev­ery­one else in terms of num­bers so they’re the ones ev­ery­one else wants to beat, even if they’re still very much grow­ing their busi­ness. The trick for Beats and their peers is to gen­er­ate a churn rate from Spo­tify’s pay­ing cus­tomers, while en­sur­ing the Swedes keep bring­ing new people into the mar­ket and ed­u­cat­ing non-be­liev­ers about the ad­van­tages of stream­ing.

The prob­lem, though, is that there may be only one win­ner here. Does the main­stream re­ally need a myr­iad of big-box stream­ing ser­vices or will they go ‘sure, I have Spo­tify, I’m grand’? Will we see one big player and a lot of smaller ones fight­ing for the scraps? That’s the fear for Iovine and all at Beats and hence why they’re happy for Ap­ple to have their back.

Get­ting Jigga with it: Jay-Z is now lay­ing down verses for Ap­ple

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