Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre convinced a generation and their parents to buy $300 headphones they didn't know they needed, bringing premium audio gear to millions of mainstream listeners for the first time.

The multibillion-dollar question is whether they can do the same with streaming music as Beats Music prepares to launch on Jan. 21.

As the momentum slows for digital downloads, the $16.5 billion global recorded-music industry is increasingly looking to paid music services like Beats Music to fuel growth.

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