Beats Gets Even Deeper

Ben Sisario and Brian X. Chen, New York Times:

Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for Beats, the maker of hip headphones and a streaming music service, Apple is working with Beats engineers and executives to introduce its own subscription streaming service. The company is also planning an enhanced iTunes Radio that may be tailored to listeners in regional markets, and, if Apple gets what it wants, more splashy new albums that will be on iTunes before they are available anywhere else, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

If I’m reading this right, that basically means there will be three iTunes services available: purchasing, streaming, and “radio” streaming. That doesn’t seem right; I would imagine the radio component would be integrated into the streaming component. I also wonder how soon they’ll be able to offer any streaming service outside of the US.

It’s odd to see Apple in a position of trying to make up lost ground in the online music space. That was the space in which they used to lead; now, they’re playing catch-up to far more established companies. However, the big iTunes brand has already allowed Apple to become an established player in the streaming space in the US, even with their relatively limited offering.

Sisario and Chen, continued:

In a sign of how important Beats is in reshaping Apple’s digital music, the company has made a musician a point man for overhauling the iPhone’s music app to include the streaming music service, as opposed to an engineer. Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman who was the chief creative officer for Beats, is playing a major role in redesigning the music app, according to two Apple employees familiar with the product, who spoke on the condition they not be named because the plans are private.

This, though, is very exciting. I use the Music app all day, every day, and it has remained basically unchanged since iOS 1.0, aside from the addition of iTunes Radio.