Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jimmy Iovine says Beats streaming will be different by, erm, being like everyone else

Overpriced headphone manufacturers Beats are planning to launch a music streaming service, which Jimmy Iovine reckons will be unlike anything anyone has ever seen before:

"There is a sea of music, an ocean of music and absolutely no curation for it. You friends can't curate for you. No one knows what song comes next," Iovine said. "Apple knows a lot about your music taste. Google knows a lot, and Facebook. But no one is using it to curate."
Actually, don't playlists on Spotify do nothing but have your friends curate music for you - if we're going to use that slightly clunky phrase?

And if you really need some songs, chosen from an endless repository, placed in an order that has been chosen by a music expert... isn't that what, say, Gideon Coe or Rob Da Bank does pretty well already?

If Iovine's idea seems to be defining a problem that doesn't actually exist, then his solution appears to be a plan that hasn't quite been thought out:
"Most tech companies never get curation right. It's not in their culture. We will be miles ahead of them," he said. "If you are going to the gym five days a week, we know that, and when you wake up we will have a list for you." The curation won't be math-free, Iovine said, but it will rely more on the human touch, marrying math and emotion. Beats users will be able to contribute to the music curation, but it wasn't clear as to how it will work with the trusted expert playlists.
So if I'm understanding this correctly, "your friends" are shit at curating music, but "Beats users" are somehow magically great at doing it. Instead of paying Iovine $10 a month, you could just find someone already doing that, and befriend them.

Still, targeting the product at gym users makes sense. People who will pay for a machine which lets them run on the spot will shovel cash over for anything.