The doubters have now been silenced. Apple has agreed to buy Beats Music (streaming) and Beats Electronics (headphones) for a total of $3 billion with $2.6 billion payable upfront and $400 million due when certain (unnamed) conditions are met. While nowhere near the nosebleed price Facebook paid for WhatsApp ($19 billion), this is Apple’s biggest acquisition to date.
And, as speculated, a big part of Apple’s acquisition appears to be Beats co-founders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, which are both “joining Apple.”
“These guys are really unique,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in an interview. “It’s like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They’re rare and very hard to find.”
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”
“Music is such an important part of Apple’s DNA and always will be,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years.”
What will Iovine and Dre do at Apple? The most likely answer would to be “more of the same,” which is very much a behind the scenes role.
Beats: Buying Style?
Also unknown at this time is how Beats Music and Beats Electronics products will be marketed through Apple — Tim Cook and perhaps Iovine + Dre will enlighten the Apple faithful during the WWDC 2014 keynote address.
Of course, big kudos to the first billionaire rapper who has earned a seat at the big table. Exciting days…
What’s your take?