Beats Music has just 111000 registered accounts, leaked figures show – The Guardian
Beats Music, the streaming service set up by Dr Dre as part of his headphones brand, had just 111,000 subscribers in March, according to a leaked royalty report.
Since its launch in January in the US, Beats Music has added 49,371 individual accounts and 61,621 “family” accounts, which can have up to five users, according to a royalty statement published by the music industry blog Trichordist.
But because the US mobile phone provider AT&T has been offering a 90-day free promotion, it’s unclear how many of those Beats accounts are paid-for.
Apple is said to be pursuing an acquisition of Beats, including its headphones, speaker and streaming music brands, for $3.2bn. Dre seemed to confirm the purchase last Friday, stating on video that he had just become the “first billionaire in hip-hop”. But the deal has yet to be confirmed either by Beats or by Apple.
Beats Music individual accounts cost $9.99 (£5.93) a month, while family accounts bought through AT&T for $14.99 a month for up to five users.
Number of users is unclear
The number of users is small compared with Spotify at this stage, which currently has more than 24 million active users globally, of which more than 6 million are paying subscribers, with the remainder using Spotify’s ad-supported streaming service. In the US, Spotify had 1 million paying subscribers as of March last year.
The Beats Music family plans were all offered with a 90-day free trial, which means it is unclear whether many of them are actually paying for the service, given it only launched in January. It is also unclear how many users each family plan has; the 61,621 family accounts could account for up to 308,105 people.
Beats Music has since added options for in-app subscription payments to its iPhone app, which has propelled the app up the App Store charts behind other US music streaming apps Pandora, Rdio, Slacker and Rhapsody. That could indicate a surge in subscribers.
Beats Music pays artists $0.000126 per play, according to the report, which is significantly less than the average payout to rightsholders for a single play of a track made by Spotify, which is between $0.006 and $0.0084. Beats Music has often been hailed as friendly to music artists and striving to make music streaming profitable for artists; the royalty figures from the report suggest a different story.
The report also suggests good engagement by users, with 49,371 individual subscribers playing 116.4m tracks in March alone – an average 2,357 songs each, or 76 a day.
It is still unclear whether Apple has bought Beats for the reported $3.2bn, but many have speculated that Beats Music and the company’s ties into the music industry is the jewel in the headphone maker’s crown for Apple, and could be used to bolster the company’s iTunes Radio streaming music offering.