Details are still scarce about Beats By Dre’s new music subscription service, which boasts Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor as its chief creative officer, but this much is becoming clear: The project has some powerful backers.
Parent company Beats Electronics announced last night it was spinning off the service, code-named Daisy, into its own standalone company. Making this possible was a $60 million round of funding led by Access Industries, the privately held conglomerate that owns “big three” record label Warner Music Group. Beats’ music service, which purportedly has something to do with “curation” and “trusted filters,” is now set for a late-2013 launch.
Meanwhile, Beats has held discussions with Apple about the planned Daisy service, Reuters reports, citing “three people familiar with the situation.” Neither Apple nor Beats would comment to Reuters. Apple has been contemplating a music-streaming equivalent to iTunes, while Beats currently has a relationship with an Apple competitor, Taiwanese smart-phone maker HTC.
While Pandora has been lobbying Congress to lower the company’s artist-royalty costs and Spotify has been hosting events with Frank Ocean, Beats’ service has remained somewhat mysterious. Last month, the company made available a phone number where listeners could hear an unreleased song by Reznor’s How to Destroy Angels and a B-side by the Beastie Boys. The number was part of an app called Twilio, dreamed up by the Daisy service’s CEO Ian Rogers. We’d settle for digits that get us through to someone who can explain what exactly this formidable group has in store for the music biz.