Beats Music, LLC. - the company that has built a huge name for itself with it's Beats by Dre line of headphones today launched it's own online streaming music service. While similar to those already offered by Apple, RDIO, and Spotify, Beats has a few unique features that may help launch it to the front of the pack.
The biggest asset is the group of music industry insiders that run Beats. Jimmy Iovine is not only chairman of the board of Beats, LLC he is also Chairman of Universal Music Groups Interscope/Geffen/A&M record company. This gives him access to new artists, industry trend data, and perhaps a huge advantage in negotiating deals for licensing of music for the service. Add to that the fact that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Dr. Dre are also on the board of directors and you have some huge name recognition backing this service that none besides Apple's iTunes Radio can come close to.
Beats also has already worked deals with AT&T to provide family plan subscribers with direct billing for up to five members of the family to sign up for the service with a 90 day free trial and family membership price of $14.99/mo versus the normal individual rate of $9.99/mo. This is a huge advantage out of the starting gate for a new service, as it looks like this service will be sold as an add-on in AT&T's retail locations as well as online.
One of the unique features Beats brings to the table is a playlist generator it calls "the Sentence".
You set variables including music genre, where you are, what you are doing, and who you are with; Beats generates a playlist from those variables to match the occasion.
Add to all this curated playlists ranging from The Academy of Country Music and Grand Ole Opry to Ellen DeGeneres and Rolling Stone Magazine, and you have the makings of a pretty great launch of a new service. Only time will tell if all of this will be enough, but so far I'm impressed with what they have brought to the table.