Music Business

Beats Music Freelancers Reveal Secrets of Playlist Curation

Money-flowers-epsosde-flickrSome internal information leaked this week regarding the curation of playlists for Beats Music, the music service formerly known as Daisy. It's not the most gripping news and, given that playlists aren't really new, it increasingly seems that the most likely way that Beats Music will set itself apart is through services to musicians.

Janko Roettgers at GigaOm was let in on some details of Beats Music's playlist building process via some freelancers:

image from cdn.slashgear.comPlaylists will be created by both musicians and music writers in what is presumably some kind of starring role with "thousands of playlists" being compiled by freelancers.

Freelancers build playlists for "certain archetypes of listeners, like the 40-year-old country fan or the teenage hip hop listener" but also related them to such themes as genres, year or activities.

And freelancers are kept a bit more reined in than presumably are the more notable creators with such guidelines as:

  • "Avoid overly clever transitions or organizing principles that will be lost on the average listener (unless the playlist itself is geared towards connoisseurs)"
  • "Talking down to listeners is not desired. Avoid elitism"
  • "Playlists should provide the best listening experience within a specific context"

Sounds like another tedious content-creation job. Let's hoping they're having a bit of fun along the way. So clearly there will be lots of playlists.

How Can A Music Streaming Service Distinguish Itself?

image from www.hypebot.comI realized when writing about Radical.FM's app launch this week just how tough it is to distinguish oneself in the streaming music arena and that it's only going to get tougher.

Whether Beats Music can offer an experience that blows other services out of the water remains to be seen but they're going to need to be astonishing to stick out once they're past the stage of being able to tease coverage with leaks and reveals.

Increasingly it seems like the last opportunity to be different will come down to how well artists are included in the mix by a high profile music service with the major labels on board. From the bits and pieces we've gotten, some artist support will be included in Beats Music and given the connections to Topspin they should be useful at the very least.

While lower profile music services seem more interested in working with artists on ecommerce and even fan data sharing, artists don't seem to be particularly interested in focusing on such services in a manner that will allow most of those services to compete effectively.

But if a service emerges that has the backing to stay the course, can provide music from most major labels and prominent indie labels, has a workable pricing strategy and widespread visibility, then musicians may be willing to encourage their fans to support that service if it's perceived as in the musicians' best interests.

Beats Music could be that but it looks like we won't know for awhile. Till then, speculation continues.

[Thumbnail image Growing Free Money On Flowers courtesy Epsos.de]

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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1 Comment

  1. From a business perspective, I think the real kicker will be whether they can do a deal with an ISP to bundle their service with a mobile/internet plan. Bundling can be a really powerful way to get people to subscribe to something they wouldn’t otherwise whip out their credit card and pay for separately. It could help Beats clear a huge hurdle to large-scale adoption.

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