AT&T Fires Up Beats Music Marketing After Weeklong Delay

Beats Music, which encountered a number of technical issues resulting from a larger-than-expected volume of sign-ups in the days following its Jan. 21 launch, said AT&T on Friday, officially kicked off its marketing to promote the music service after a week's delay.

The AT&T campaign, both online and in stores, had initially been set to launch Jan. 24. AT&T did not immediately respond to questions about why it postponed its marketing efforts. Some AT&T customers who had downloaded the Beats Music app on the day of launch were unable to use the app right away, an issue that Beats Music chief executive Ian Rogers acknowledged in a service update on Jan. 21.

"Due to the extremely high volume of interest in our service some users are experiencing issues," Rogers wrote. "Most people are unaffected but our priority is to give everyone a great experience. We prepared for issues like these, have a plan, and are going to hold off on letting more people in while we put this plan in action."

The next day, Rogers wrote an update, reporting that the technical hiccups had been "squashed" and extending the free trial period from seven days to 14 days.

A handful of users continue to report having issues accessing the service on their AT&T service, but complaints directed at Beats' Support Twitter account appear to have ebbed considerably in the past few days.

Beats had arranged an exclusive offer with AT&T to give new customers a 90-day free trial of the music service, as opposed to the seven-day free trial for all other users. In addition, customers of AT&T's family plans can pay a flat $14.99-a-month fee for up to five people on the same plan.

The launch of Beats Music has been closely monitored by the music industry, which hopes that the company, co-founded by Universal Music Group executive Jimmy Iovine, will resonate with a broad audience. Only about 20 million people worldwide currently pay monthly subscription fees to access large catalogs of on-demand music. Beats' bet is that a simple app design, buttressed by smartly curated playlists and a big marketing push, will help draw mainstream customers.

The Santa Monica, Calif., company has not said how many people have signed up for the service so far.