Apple acquired a streaming music service with Beats, but how do you distinguish yourself in a market where one of the earliest movers still has an overwhelming percentage of mindshare? The key might be the unique advantages Beats has in terms of industry partnerships thanks to its deep recording scene roots, which could help it procure exclusives that listeners can only get in a single place.
Today, it released a new World Cup commercial (via Verge) soundtracked by a remix of ‘Jungle,’ the track that ran under the first version. The remix features Jay Z, and is available on Beats Music exclusively for the next week. The fact that the new track features one of the biggest names in hip hop is a testament to just how much power Beats has to call in the big guns when it wants to.
It’d be one thing if this was a simple flash name drop lazily imposed upon on a forgettable song, but it’s actually a really good track. Exclusives have long operated as value-add purchase drivers for digital music, including the special iTunes editions Apple sometimes puts out, as well as Rdio’s ‘Sessions’ series of live recordings and many, many others besides. Beats isn’t doing anything new, but its sphere of influence in the hip hop community might help it attract younger listeners who haven’t yet bet on a horse in the streaming race, which could be an important contributor to future growth.
Can exclusives make or break a streaming service? Unlikely, but as part of an approach that also involves human curation and solid design, it might indeed make a difference.