It may have taken Beats Music a while to arrive on Microsoft’s Windows Phone but with it, Microsoft can finally takes its rightful place as third-largest smartphone ecosystem, arguably.
To be clear, that Beats Music is finally arriving today does’t completely underscore that point. Microsoft still needs to find a way to work directly with app creators to get services like Beats Music in the Windows Phone Store at the same time as they’re available on other platforms. That much hasn’t changed.
What has changed is the amount of time it now takes services to arrive on Microsoft’s mobile platform. That bringing Beats Music to Windows Phone only took a few extra weeks isn’t just a win for Microsoft. It’s a rare win for Windows Phone users. Typically, companies take months to deliver a Windows Phone version of their app. In fact, some of them never do, leaving Microsoft to poll users for what apps are important to them and then actively work with the company in question to offer a version of their app or service directly to users.
That phenomena is why Windows Phone’s Facebook app is developed by Microsoft instead of Facebook.
As for Beats Music itself, the reaction from Windows Phone users seems to be positive. Having made its debut on iOS and Android a few weeks ago, those who’ve tried it are pleased with the experience. That’s mostly because Beats Music offers users a more curated experience than what they get with rival services like Xbox Music, Google Play Music All Access and iTunes Radio. Playlists on Beats Music aren’t made by just algorithms. Instead, the company has hired music lovers and creators to produce a massive assortment of playlists.
It also certainly doesn’t hurt that Beats Music is one of the few music services available on just about every device a user can own. It doesn’t yet have a native Mac, Linux or PC client, however Beats Music does boast versions for web browsers, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. By comparison only Spotify, Xbox Music, Rhapsody and Rdio have native apps on each one of those platforms. Unfortunately, none of those offer anything close to the curated music experience and marketing dollars Beats Music has.
Beats Music is available as a free trial for seven days. After that it’ll cost users $9.99 a month. AT&T is offering its customers an exclusive deal that nets them a Beats Music family plan for $14.99 a month.