Rogers said Iovine has long believed in the subscription model, and Beats Music is a subscription service. It costs $10 a month, or $15 for a family plan available through AT&T.
“It’s not free,” Rogers said. “It’s not ad-supported. The notion is it’s a premium music service, it’s a premium music experience. We know people are willing to pay for premium services. You have 100 million people in the U.S. paying for cable and satellite at an average of $1,000 a year. Getting a great music service for $100 a year is not steep at all for a serious music fan.”
Rogers sees Beats Music as benefiting the music industry, too. He said more than half of every dollar Beats makes goes back to rights holders.
“That’s a lot compared with any other service of music,” he said.
Rogers also feels Beats Music sends a message that music is worth something, and the service is worth paying for.
“And we’re also saying to the industry, ‘If we win, you win,’” Rogers said. “‘If we make more money, you make more money. Period.’”
He added that Beats Music has received support from music labels and artists.
“Everybody really just wants to see us win, I think for two reasons,” Roger said. “A.) because it grows the whole industry if we do win, and everybody wants to see the industry grow. And secondarily, I think that they’re just happy to see a system that loves and respects music — bring music to people in a way that’s thoughtful and with integrity.”
Computer algorithms are part of the Beats Music model. However, the Beats crew is quick to highlight the human touch courtesy of input by flesh-and-blood curators. Put another way, people are key to the playlists.