7. Offer radio!
GigaOm's Roettgers says that the early version of the Beats site he saw bore no sign of a streaming radio service like Pandora. Sure, Roettgers caught a glimpse of something other than the final launch-ready service, but that was just last weekend! How much different could the final version of the service be when it launches next week? You don't just bolt a streaming radio function on to the product at the last minute.
The fact is, people love streaming radio. Pandora, for all its faults, has soared to more than 72 million active monthly listeners. While most music subscription services (like Rdio) are building on a streaming radio feature--if they didn't have such a feature already--Beats appears to be pointing users toward a purely playlist-based experience.
Lots of would-be Beats subscribers will take notice of this. If Beats is truly going to launch without a radio-like option, it might learn very quickly that this omission is a deal-breaker for many would-be subscribers.
More to come . . .
I'm looking forward to the launch of Beats Music next week, and I'm keeping an open mind on its design and music curation chops. I think the company might benefit somewhat from its music industry roots, and it may just be able to make its industry experience show up in its product. At any rate, we'll publish a hands-on review of the new service shortly after it goes live on January 21st. Stay tuned.
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