Apple's original iTunes model of selling music downloads per album or per track has been doomed since MOG and Spotify entered the music streaming space. Why would anyone purchase a $10 album or $1 track if they could only listen to it through iTunes or an iOS device? Because they don't know any better. That same $10 gets music lovers one month of unlimited access to roughly 15 million tracks from any computer, iOS or Android device using Spotify and the just-launched MOG replacement Beats Music. Limited access to one album or extended access to that single album plus 15 million more albums for around the same price. This is a no-brainer. Even a monkey would select a streaming service such as Beats Music.
Today Beats Music launched with an email from Ian C Rogers, Beats Music CEO. He made it clear our beloved MOG is shutting down April 15, 2014 (Beats Acquired MOG in 2013). This email contains direct links to the Beats Music iOS app, Android App, and Windows app. Of course clicking on these apps brings the user to the download page where all is well and good. However, I decided to search the iTunes App Store myself for the Beats Music app. I discovered what I believe is Apple's attempt at hiding Beats Music from potential users. Searching the iTunes store for the word "Beats" obviously returns tons of results and as expected the Beats Music app is nowhere to be found. No biggie. However, searching for "Beats Music", the full and exact name of the app, returned 438 results. None of which were the actual Beats Music app. Apps like GarageBand, Rap to Beats, and I am T-Pain 2.0 were listed near the top of the results, but no Beats Music even though it was the exact term in my search.
Like all iTunes users normally do (yeah right), I searched for the seller's name. In this case it's Beats Music, LLC. What do you know, the Beats Music app is the 147th result in this search. Nice one Apple. To some extent search results are be based on popularity of the apps clicked with respect to the search terms, but when a service as big as Beats Music launches Apple knows full well people want the Beats Music app when search for Beats Music. I know Apple owns the iTunes Store and will make whatever business decision it wants to help its bottom line, but this decision screams insecurity. Apple knows its iTunes Radio and traditional iTunes model are no competition for streaming services such as Beats Music. Buy two albums for roughly $20 from iTunes or listen to the same two albums plus 15 million more tracks for around $10 per month. iTunes doesn't make sense anymore. What about iTunes Radio? Well, what about it? It doesn't make sense either. We already have Pandora when we want someone else to decide what we want to hear. iTunes Radio offers nothing that isn't already available. Sure, iTunes Radio can select music for you, predicting what it thinks you will like. So can Beats Music. The Achilles heel of iTunes Radio is the users can't listen to whatever they want when they want. Who wants a service that's subpar? People who don't know any better. The Beats company has the power and budget to bring these issues to light for the uninitiated. Most people don't study music services and compare the offerings with a fine tooth comb. However, when they see commercials with the biggest artists of the day broadcasting the benefits of Beats Music they will jump on the bandwagon and realize what they've been missing all along. R.I.P iTunes Radio and the old low resolution iTunes music purchasing model.
Edit: I hope the subtext of this article comes through more than the attention grabbing headline. I believe Apple's music purchasing platform and its Radio platform will soon be irrelevant. Neither the iTunes Store with its purchased downloads or iTunes Radio with its limited features offer any value to the customer. Sooner rather than later people will see the tremendous value in services like Beats Music that offer more music, in more locations, streaming at better quality, for a cheaper price.
Beats Music search results.
Number 5 in the Top Free apps (Music category), yet not worthy of a mention anywhere else or worthy of appearing in search results.