Beats Music will stay on Android, unlike other apps that Apple bought

May 29, 2014

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Steve Jobs once said he didn’t want to “make Android users happy” by making iTunes available on Android. Jobs was famously furious on Google for launching Android, which he considered a “stolen product.” But in the case of iTunes for Android, it was pragmatic thinking, not rage that motivated Steve Jobs; put simply, there was no point in offering iTunes on a platform that wouldn’t bring Apple any money and would make it easier for Apple users to switch.

Times have changed, and Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, is less opposed to the idea of bringing Apple services to competing platforms, if it made sense.

Now that Apple bought Beats, many wondered whether Apple would keep the Beats Music apps for Android and Windows Phone, or kill them, like it did with several other apps it bought in the past.

“It’s on Android now, and we want to keep it that way.”

The answer, according to Tim Cook and software boss Eddie Cue, is yes, Apple will keep Beats Music for Android. “It’s all about music,” told Cook the Financial Times, while Cue was a little more reassuring in saying, “It’s on Android now, and we want to keep it that way.”

Apple, the Android app developer

So, after the deal closes this fall, Apple will be officially making an Android app, and an important one at that. Is that a sign of changing attitudes, after years of building walls around the garden? We don’t know for now. Beats Music is special, because Apple wants it to grow, and that means it needs to be available cross-platform, just like Spotify, Rdio, and other competitors. So Apple can’t afford to make Beats Music iOS-only, or risk people sticking with Spotify, which works on mom’s Nexus tablet and dad’s Windows laptop too.

That’s especially important now that people don’t download tracks as they used to. In the cloud era, we want our music everywhere, and we don’t want to depend on local storage. In other words, iTunes is the past, Beats is the future for Apple.

Beats Music, only available in the US for now, needs to grow fast to pose a serious threat to the big guys, and right now it only has about 250,000 subscribers. For comparison, Spotify has 40 million users, and a quarter of them are paid subscribers.

Right after the Apple announcement, Beats revealed it would cut the yearly subscription to $100, down from $120, making it more attractive to sign up for a year instead of on a per-month basis.

The company also announced it would double the free trial version to 14 days. Beats Music doesn’t have a free tier like competing services. Check out the Beats Music app in the Play Store (US only).

Comments

  • wezi427

    What does Beats have that the competitors don’t and would want me to switch?

    • Jayfeather787

      Extremely high prices, crappy sound and lousy build quality! Perfect!

    • Airyl

      The headphones are overpriced, but the app is pretty good to be honest. Nothing too special, but it’s still pretty good. Give it a try, but stay the hell away from those headphones.

      • wezi427

        I agree with the headphones. For the price of the yearly subscription, does it justify the price?

        • Airyl

          I’m not sure whether they price is justified or not. There are a whole bunch of nifty features like “The Sentence”, but the best way to find out is to download the trial version and see for yourself. Personally I still prefer Pandora and Spotify since they both fit my needs.

          • wezi427

            I like Pandora, I’ll try it. Thanks

        • Alex James Simon

          I’d say yes the $100 price is just $4 dollars more a year then the All-Access $8 a month deal when it first came out, also you don’t need a credit card with beats music as you can buy gift cards from target, which is nice for a lot of people who don’t want to use credit cards. I have to admit the ui of the Beats Music app is alot nicer looking then the Google Music app. And yeah stay away from the headphones.

          • wezi427

            Thanks

  • Amadeus Klein

    Um How Exactly is Beats an important app? Please elaborate….

    “Apple will be officially making an Android app, and an important one at that.”

    Did anyone know or care that beats even did streaming before this announcement?

    • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

      As people move from iTunes for music, Apple needs a strong streaming service for its ecosystem. So Beats is important in my view.

      • Amadeus Klein

        So important to Apple, But not, at the moment anyway, important to the android user generally… We already have Google play All Access, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Grooveshark, Rdio, Deezer, and SoundCloud just to name a few… For the standard android user Beats streaming hasn’t yet and in the near term won’t really make a difference, unless apple “iTunes up” the beats app (Not sure how they’d do it but I’m sure they could)… In the long term we’ll see what happens But right now this really doesn’t change things for the normal user….

    • Airyl

      It’s important in the sense that this is one of, if not the only time Apple will be making an app for Android.

  • HitokiriX

    “In the cloud era, we want our music everywhere, and we don’t want to depend local storage.” Well I’ll continue to live in the past… I love having my music stored on my device/ microSD

    • Air Balloon

      Not all of us have those, you know!

      • MasterMuffin

        You don’t have a device? :D

        • Airyl

          He doesn’t have music. xD

    • wezi427

      I prefer an SD Card over the Cloud. Some people don’t have unlimited data. And if you complain about not having an SD slot, when you purchase your next phone do your homework and prioritize what you need in a phone.

      • juul

        I switched from anti- to pro cloud concerning music. All my music at home (flac&mp3) can be reached via smb. And mp3 via cloud services outside home. Put all that music on every device is too much effort for two smartphones, two Android tabs, 1 iPad, two Windows laptops and a MacBook Pro.

        • Pobrecito hablador

          Or you could use ownCloud

  • TheGCU

    I think it’s odd that Apple didn’t just add streaming to iTunes. Instead they bought a relatively unknown service. I’d never heard of Beats Streaming until this deal.

    • Ben Edwards

      Can’t help but wonder if Apple will integrate Beats into iTunes as a streaming service though. It kind of makes sense, rather than having two different music platforms under one roof.

  • Michael Muyunda

    Man it’s only available in the US. I would like to try it, everyone’s bashing it because they have something against beats.

  • s2weden2000

    Might as well remove it from Android…