Music Business

Beats’ Daisy Project Revealed, CEO Ian Rogers Declares ‘Mission To Win’ [Details & Analysis]

DaisyToday Beats By Dre announced that Topspin's Ian Rogers is CEO of Beats' upcoming Project Daisy music streaming subscription service as well as MOG, the service on which Daisy will be built. Trent Reznor is Chief Creative Officer. In the conference call the big message seemed to be, "We're going to do this right, not like the other guys. We're going to take streaming subscription services to the mainstream and we're going to win."

Normally I would simply share the news from whatever sources are available and insert some commentary as relevant. This time I'm going to include more meta commentary as well, though back in my days at ProHipHop, that cost me future access.

Key Details

  • Beats By Dre is launching a new music streaming subscription service, working title "Project Daisy," that will be built on MOG.
  • Project Daisy is scheduled to launch sometime in late 2013.
  • Project Daisy intends to go global.
  • MOG will continue servicing listeners until an official announcement is made about what happens to current users.
  • Ian Rogers is Chief Executive Officer of Project Daisy and will also head MOG.
  • Trent Reznor is Chief Creative Officer of Project Daisy.
  • Rogers will continue on Topspin's board and serve as Executive Chairman.
  • Beats will invest in Topspin.
  • Topspin will be integrated into or connected with Project Daisy just as Topspin has been connected to other services such as Artists.MTV.

Inside Daisy – An Analysis

The conference call included Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine, President and COO Luke Wood and new Project Daisy CEO Ian Rogers.

Sound Quality: Iovine's primary tactic when not sharing specific news bits was to return to the theme of sound quality being degraded and Beats' mission, hopefully involving the whole industry, to improve sound quality

When asked if Project Daisy would emphasize high quality sound, Iovine basically said no but they'd do the best they can given the difficulties they face. So there was a weird disjuncture between what Project Daisy is going to be and Iovine's tendency to fall back on the theme of sound quality at random big picture moments.

Taking Subscriptions Mainstream: When asked how they were going to take it to the mainstream and who those people might be, Iovine didn't really say how they were going to mainstream streaming music subscription,  but he did clarify that Project Daisy is for all those people who love music and go online and just can't find it. I'm not sure who those people are, but there are apparently a lot of them.

Royalty Payments: When asked if royalty payments would be structured differently, Iovine basically said no, though I don't think he used the word "no" at any point. He focused on the fact that it was a complex process which is certainly true. Of course, at the end of the day, none of these guys can say that the major labels have them over the barrel and there may not be room to do anything really different financially.

Ian Rogers On Why He's There:  If Rogers had not been on the call, I might have found it an exercise in absurdity. He calmly answered questions with actual information, and that's reassuring. It takes away the snake oil aspects of Iovine's self-presentation.

To paraphrase what Ian said: He's excited about this opportunity. He thinks they can do a great job of building on MOG's accomplishments and that they can take it to the mainstream. He also said, in his typically understated manner, that their "mission is to win."

Along the way, the idea that Project Daisy would find ways to connect fans and artists was raised. How this will be achieved remains to be seen, but having Rogers involved raises the likelihood that an interesting solution will be found. Whatever level of actual connection occurs, given that we are talking partly about major artists and massive numbers of fans, it sounds like it could become a useful tool to help artists build their fanbase will be built into the system.

Note: Just found out about this blog post from Ian Rogers. He gets to the heart of the matter on both the business and personal side. It's called speaking to humans in a human voice. Read The Cluetrain Manifesto for more on the power of the human voice in an age of global communication.

[Daisy thumbnail courtesy Kathy Kimpel.]


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/ blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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1 Comment

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