Beats Music raises more funding to take on streaming rivals

Beats Music raises more funding to take on streaming rivals
Beats Music has raised an additional $60 million to $100 million in new funding. (Beats Music LLC)

Beats Music has raised additional financial backing to help it take on Spotify and other rivals in the growing streaming music industry.

Beats Music LLC, the music streaming company launched by hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, has completed a new round of $60 million to $100 million in funding, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.


The service launched in January as a stand-alone company with features to help listeners discover new music, including playlists created by artists and taste-maker publications. Big promotional efforts for the company included a Super Bowl commercial starring comedian and Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres.

Beats Music competes with digital music services such as Spotify, based in Stockholm; Pandora Media Inc., based in Oakland; and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio.

The new funding comes from people who have already put money into the company. Access Industries, the investment company founded by billionaire Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik, led a previous $60 million round last year when Beats Music was still known as "Daisy."

Other backers include private equity billionaire Marc Rowan, casino owner James Packer and entities affiliated with oil heir and businessman Lee M. Bass.

The new funding was previously reported by Bloomberg News. Beats Music declined to comment. 

Like many digital outlets, such as Spotify and San Francisco-based Rdio, Beats Music charges $10 a month for access on the Web and mobile devices. But unlike Spotify and Rdio, Beats Music does not offer a free, advertiser-supported version. The company also partnered with AT&T to offer a $15-a-month family plan.

Dr. Dre, whose given name is Andre Young, was best known as a rapper and music mogul before founding headphone maker Beats Electronics with Iovine

Last week, Beats Music announced plans to acquire Topspin Media, which makes software to help artists sell and promote their music and merchandise directly to consumers, for an undisclosed amount.

Also last week, Spotify said it would buy the Echo Nest, a company that mines data to help recommend music to listeners based on their tastes. Spotify completed a funding round of about $250 million in November.


Twitter: @rfaughnder