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AT&T to offer $15-a-month Beats Music family plan

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - AT&T says it will start offering customers a subscription to streaming service Beats Music in a package that gives as many as five family members unlimited streaming and song downloading for $15 a month.

The offer, a good deal if even two people use it, is an attempt to bring down the cost of music for families that pay AT&T for cellphone service. It's part of Beats' major launch strategy since its headphone maker parent, Beats Electronics, bought streaming service MOG in 2012.

Beats Electronics is backed by hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and former music executive Jimmy Iovine.

Beats Music works on the MOG platform, though the look and emphasis on human-curated playlists and recommendations are different.

With plans to add future promotional tie-ins with the popular headphone line, Beats Music would compete with services like Spotify, Rhapsody and Rdio. The family plan has a 90-day free trial but no free ad-supported version, unlike Spotify.

Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers said the company decided to launch its service with AT&T rather than do an immediate tie-in with a headphone purchase to reach the widest possible audience.

"We don't want people to think it's an ecosystem that's closed in some way," he said. Rogers gave a demo of the service this week on the sidelines of the International CES gadget show in Las Vegas.

David Christopher, chief marketing officer for Dallas-based AT&T Inc., said the company chose to partner with Beats Music because of a longstanding association with Iovine and the headphone line. It was also a way to get involved in transforming MOG.

"We were in on the ground floor with a shared vision about how we could really change the game for subscription music," Christopher said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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