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Looking to revamp Beats Music at a lower rate, Apple asks music labels to cut streaming prices

Beats on Apple TV

Last month Apple was rumored to be looking for a way to shut down the current version of the Beats Music streaming service that it acquired as part of the Beats Electronics deal, though the claim of a shutdown was quickly shot down in favor of an upcoming rebranding effort.

Today Re/code has revealed a bit more about Apple’s plans for the new service, which is expected to be revealed in February, according to some reports. According to Re/code, Apple wants to cut the price of the streaming service below the current $10 mark, and it’s asking music companies to cut a special deal on licensing rights to accomplish that.

The report says that the company has also asked for a list of other features and changes they’d like music providers to make in order to help create a better music streaming service. There aren’t a whole lot of details at this point about how Apple will change Beats Music, aside from cutting the price, although many users would argue that perhaps the service doesn’t need that many changes to be successful, especially at less than $10 a month.

Apple’s own iTunes Radio doesn’t currently offer any on-demand components, relying instead on free, radio-style playlists backed by advertisements. The move to add an optional subscription service would finally put it in line with competitors like Spotify.

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  1. i would like this streaming service to be integrated in the Music app, so it would make a seamless experience for the user to listen to music, just like Google Play Music does, you load your own music but can add online music to the same library, that’s neat

    • David Q - 8 years ago

      Strongly, strongly agree with this. Any revamp of Beats that doesn’t somehow let users keep (or import) their previously purchased music from iTunes/music app and only use the one app to manage it all will be a HUGE disappointment for me….

    • I was quick to pre-order my iPhone 6 Plus and wasn’t thinking about the storage issues I might face. Sadly, my music leaves me with 4 GBs of memory. Because of this, I use Google Play Music so that I may stream my music to my device with no problems. I am, however, still purchasing songs through iTunes in anticipation for Apple’s own music streaming service.

      • Hey Dylan…
        You can accomplish the same thing with iTunes Match. I think it’s $20 a year. I have all of my music on my laptop. I create playlist which show up on my phone. Actually, all of my music shows up in the cloud. At that point I can either download playlist / songs directly to my devices or I can stream them from the cloud without taking up storage because of iTunes Match. It works out the same way your doing it except no additional programs/services are needed outside of iTunes/iTunes Match.

    • *storage — sorry.

  2. herb02135go - 8 years ago

    … so Apple can make more money.

    I hope the record labels laugh in their face. I would.

    • Travis Pütz - 8 years ago

      Really? Because without Apple, the music industry would be dead right now. With the remaining ability to download music for free via bit torrent outlets, the music industry IS Apple. It’s their biggest outlet for music and likely their biggest ally to their very existence.

    • whatyoutalkingboutwillis - 8 years ago

      Gasp, a company trying to make more money and gain a larger market share of the streaming music market. What s this world coming to?

    • Pete Mrsich (@petem222) - 8 years ago

      I’m pretty sure the catch in the deal is that the prices are set lower at the start, then slowly increase over time. $1.29 songs, anyone?

    • Andrew John - 8 years ago

      I would laugh in your face too, seeing as Apple single handedly saved the music industry from ruin. But what would a troll like you know about anything but whats under a bridge.

  3. byerstexas - 8 years ago

    How ironic that the worlds greatest innovator and manufacturer of hardware for the “creative” community, is now leaning on the labels to cut prices, which will ultimately end up stiffing the artists.

    • Travis Pütz - 8 years ago

      It’s been a LONG time since artists have been able to make a living from the sale of albums. Touring is what keeps money in their bank accounts.

      Additionally, this is where the collaboration between Apple and U2 comes into play – to create a means whereby up and coming artists can make money from their smaller distribution power. Something that is in the works to PROMOTE creativity for music, rather that stifle it.

      • Jim Good (@CarsGuitars) - 8 years ago

        Recording and touring are two different things. There are many recording artists that rarely if ever play live.

    • Just because they cut prices for the consumer doesn’t mean it gets cut for the artist.

      I mean, this is the same company that started to sell songs online for 0.99 and albums for 9.99 — both of which were met with the same worries you are stating today. Truthfully, I wouldn’t worry about it as Apple has created the digital music industry and continue to control it to this very day; they care about artists.

  4. Brett Huhn - 8 years ago

    I saw the BEATS icon on my Apple TV and deleted it when it wanted me to pay money to listen to music I can stream for free. What a bunch of redundant crap. I have no desire to be hip or be like Dre or MIKE or anybody but ME

    • Travis Pütz - 8 years ago

      And THIS is a primary reason for the re-structuring between Apple and the music industry. iTunes radio is pretty good, but not free. An integration/update to Beats music would bring additional functionality with the option of the remaining free outlets, or to use the service with ads.

      • Pete Mrsich (@petem222) - 8 years ago

        Agreed, there needs to be a free model for Beats, much like Slacker, a service I was using before Beats came along. Beats also needs ‘stations’ that users can just ‘set and forget’.

  5. Wes - 8 years ago

    Streaming prices in Canada are 1/10 what they are in the U.S., and yet we still don’t have iTunes Radio OR Beats Music up here for some reason!

  6. alexm00dy - 8 years ago

    Still wondering when it’s gonna be available outside US

  7. Lower price = More customers = More revenue.

    The exact same thing occurs with taxation. Lower taxes, increase tax revenue because more people are likely to be more productive, increasing tax revenues. Increasing taxes only causes people to find loopholes to avoid tax, or evade taxes altogether.