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Get to know Beats Music, the streaming service that could make Apple spend billions

Anthony Domanico | May 12, 2014
By now, you probably know that Apple is reportedly counting out $3.2 billion to buy up Beats Electronics, the company co-founded by hip-hop legend Dr. Dre that makes the pricey but so-so headphones you see all over the place. Dre and his buddy Tyrese have all but confirmed the deal with a video praising Dre as "the first billionaire in hip hop."

In its current state, iTunes Radio kind of sucks. There are genre stations, and you can create custom stations based on a particular artist or song (as you can with other streaming services). But the likes of Pandora, Spotify, and — yes — Beats Music rarely feature repeat tracks; iTunes Radio seems to play the same 30 or so songs over and over. While the iTunes Radio interface is decent, it's nothing to write home about, especially when stacked up against Beats Music's look.

Most important, iTunes Radio doesn't really do anything to curate the music experience to its subscribers. Sure, you can create stations based on artists or songs, but that's about as far as the customization goes. By contrast, Beats does curation extremely well.

Integrating Beats Music into the iTunes Radio fold — if that's what Apple ultimately winds up doing — will go a long way toward making iTunes Radio a more compelling music streaming service. I'd even go as far to say that if Apple seals the Beats deal, its streaming music service could easily jump to the top of the charts.


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