The Gen

Music Industry News

National and Regional Music industry news, views and comments - Straight to your Inbox Sign Up Now!


Beats Put a New Spin on Streaming

Posted in Digital, News by Generator on Wednesday 5th of March 2014

Beats Music has seemingly made its next move in what no-one will ever refer to as ‘The Streaming Wars’ by buying direct to fan music and merch platform Topspin Media. In an interesting music industry top trumps twist, former Topspin CEO Ian Rogers joined Beats last year and will again take the helm at Topspin.

Rogers announced the move on a blog, maniacally cackling as he screamed “It was the plan all along” whilst removing a Dr. Dre mask, giving Spotify the Scooby Doo ending it deserves.

What Rogers actually said was: “The acquisition brings a team of talented people who have spent years working on building and fine-tuning the artist-to-fan connection into the Beats Music experience. Topspin + Beats Music combines music discovery and direct relationships between artists and fans in a revolutionary way”.

Rogers continued: “A desire to be of value to artists in all facets of their career is in Beats Music’s DNA. We’re committed to establishing Beats Music as a conduit for the artist-fan relationship, a platform where artists have a voice, and a provider of useful data and analytics on how fans interact with artists and their music. This acquisition puts our money where our mouth is”.

Rogers certainly got to grips with banging that Beats drum quickly enough! Of course, a service fronted by Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine was always going to have a focus on what Heath Ledger’s Joker referred to as “aggressive expansion” in The Dark Knight.

This also seems a shrewd move in support of Beat’s push to be perceived as artist friendly, which also includes offering the same deal to majors and indies alongside recently hiring former Gang of Four guitarist Dave Allen as an advocate. Allen recently wrote a self-explanatory article entitled ‘Why David Byrne is wrong about Spotify’ for The Guardian.

Last month, Topspin made a number of its staff redundant, with many commentators predicting a shift towards becoming purely a technology platform.

A further interesting twist in the heist is that Spotify recently added the capacity to sell merch through its platform using Topspin’s ArtistLink service- an arrangement that will apparently continue despite the service now being wholly owned by the streaming giant’s biggest rival.