Two weeks ago Beats Electronics dropped a World Cup commercial featuring some of the biggest athletes on earth. It was a rollicking display of star power, and seemed at several points to make sly reference to the company's recent union with Apple. The spot has garnered over 10 million views and propelled the backing track, "Jungle" to No. 4 on the iTunes charts. Today Beats Music, the streaming service owned by the same company, is turning up the volume on this campaign, releasing a remix of "Jungle" with a rap cameo by Jay-Z and making this new track available exclusively on Beats Music for the next week.
Beats Music is significantly smaller than its competitors in the streaming-music industry. Spotify says it now has 10 million paying subscribers, 40 times the 250,000 Beats Jimmy Iovine announced at the recent Recode conference. But Beats seems able to use its connections in the music industry and cache in the world of hip-hop to secure exclusives that would be impossible for any other service its size.
There is no official word from Beats on whether it plans on using a lot of exclusives to try and win customers, but sources familiar with the situation say to expect several more high profile tracks to debut on Beats in the coming weeks. Given the approach it has taken to celebrity endorsements in its headphone business and the massive Apple cash pile it will soon have to draw on, it wouldn't be surprising if this Jay-Z track was just the first of many big-name artists Beats tried to win away from Spotify for exclusive releases.