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Beats Music streaming hits a surprise speed bump

Beats Music, the new music streaming service, hit the market on Tuesday with a surprise surge in customers. This led to connectivity issues for Beats Music, but strong momentum into the competitive music-streaming market.

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Beats by Dre headphones. Beats Electronics has added a new product to its music-enhancing line-up: a streaming music mobile app called Beats Music.

ColorWare/PRNewsFoto

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Music fans gained another streaming service Tuesday, when Beats Electronics launched Beats Music, a music-streaming mobile app to accompany its line-up of headphones and speakers.

Though many thought it would be an uphill battle to break into a tough market ruled by music-streaming giants Spotify and Pandora, it appears Beats Music could have some staying power. On Thursday, the company announced it was suspending account sign-ups due to an unexpected surge of customers resulting in a variety of launch issues.

“Due to the extremely high volume of interest in our service some users are experiencing issues,” Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers says in a statement. “Most people are unaffected but our priority is to give everyone a great experience. We prepared for issues like these, have a plan, and are going to hold off on letting more people in while we put this plan in action.”

The app became the most downloaded music app on iTunes after being released, but problems soon followed. Customers took to Twitter to complain of connectivity issues, and the company announced that while people would be able to download the app and sign up for an account, they would not be able to access music until a later date. It also announced that anyone signing up this week would get an extra seven-day free trial of the service.

Beats Music works similarly to Pandora, but takes inspiration from curated, subscription-based services such as Netflix. Customers pay $10 each month for unlimited access to more than 20 million songs and AT&T customers can add the subscription cost onto family mobile plans. Listeners are presented with custom playlists curated by the service’s algorithms and DJs, musicians, and music-industry veterans affiliated with Beats. There is also a mood customization tool called “The Sentence” where customers fill out a mad-lib type sentence about their current state and have a song specifically picked out for that moment. The Verge reviewer Ellis Hamburger gave it a try.

“My first try was ‘I’m in bed, and feel like waking up, with your mom, to musica Mexicana,’ ” he writes. “For this mood, the app offered me 'La Trampa' by Mexican singer-songwriter Ana Barbara. 'The Sentence' is an interesting angle on Songza’s 'pick your moment' radio stations, but is perhaps a bit deceptive since the final fill-in-the-blank is a genre, which seemingly provides most of the impetus for which song starts playing.”

The service is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Windows.

Though Beats is a bit late to entering the increasingly crowded music-streaming arena, it already has a strong fan base stemming from its electronics line-up and experimenting with tools like “The Sentence” could help it stand out.

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But first things first: it’s time to get the service up and running.

“Those of you who got on board yesterday, please keep using Beats Music,” adds Mr. Rogers. “New folks, download the app, register, and we’ll drop you a line as soon as possible inviting you back in.”


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