Beats Music will be no more at the end of this month. When it was acquired in 2013, Beats Music essentially provided the template for what eventually became Apple Music, which all but replaced the service in the past year.
I enjoyed the music discovery service well enough when it was around. It was not as intuitive as it claimed to be and I remember that it crashed so much that first week it took a long time for me to give it another try. But it had potential; as I mentioned a couple of years, I still don’t think music fans – or artists – have the music discovery app we deserve, but I thought that Beats was a step in an encouraging direction when it came out.
However the migration to Apple Music has been months in coming, and as a hardcore Android girl, I just moved on when it was clear that Apple would be absorbing and shutting down Beats. In the wake of big shifts for music and tech this year —This is My Jam shut down this year, Next Big Sound got acquired by Pandora, YouTube Red is… weird — I do wonder if the hope of a indie music discovery service is pretty much gone, with large tech companies essentially gobbling up that space. There’s a ton of music out there, even more data about music sharing and distribution, and yet, still no real platform that does any of it justice, when it comes to launching careers and breaking new artists. I know there was a lot of discussion about the hope of algorithm-based music discovery at the SF MusicTech Summit this year, but it still blows my mind that the TV industry is moving forward so confidently in the tech space, where there are platforms to watch and share, and launch new talent, and there’s nothing close to that in the music space that I’ve seen yet.
So goodbye Beats Music, I still appreciate what it tried to do, and I hope that there’s room for something similar to its original vision in the future.