Apple's Purchase Of Beats Is About Sharing Music

May 8 2014, 7:30pm CDT | by

If the news reports are correct, Andre Young could become a very rich man. Mr. Young is, of course, known as rapper and record producer Dr. Dre, who six years ago co-founded Beats Electronics, now the reported subject of a $3.2 billion purchase by Apple Inc. If true, it would be Apple’s largest acquisition to date, and one that immediately sparked speculation about what Apple would really gain from the purchase. The Financial Times reports the sale could be announced as early as next week.

First, Beats markets a premium line of consumer headphones, earphones and speakers. But more importantly for Apple, the company holds patents on certain software technology, and operates a subscription streaming music service that could help Apple’s iTunes service expand in reach and quality.

The Apple retail stores have been selling the Beats headphones with the “b” logo almost since their invention, and have scored substantial space on the stores’ wall shelving. In fact, according to the privately-held Beats, it has a 51 percent share of the $1 billion premium headphone market (over $100). Beats COO Luke Wood has even claimed the company created the market for premium headphones back in 2008. Some of Beats over-the-ear models are priced at $450, while earphones are priced down to $90.

Beyond the headphones and earbuds, Beats has partnered with Chrysler to offer its technology across select models, including the Fiat line. The company describes it as “a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended.” The technology could dovetail nicely with Apple’s just-introduced CarPlay product and their future plans to become more active in the automotive marketplace.

However, the biggest asset of Beats would be the company’s streaming music service, which offers a much more thorough—and successful—social experience than iTunes. It’s advertised as “The right music for right now,” using a very simple interface crafted especially for the mobile experience. Using the Beats iOS app, the user simply creates a “sentence” explaining where they are, what they’re feeling and who they’re with. Beats then creates a playlist of the appropriate music. There are also additional paths to finding music, including by genre, artist playlist and curator. Once your music is playing, there are additional options to follow artists and explore their work, share playlists and comment on music.

And lastly, and quite frankly, there’s no streaming music service so close to the “the scene” than Beats. Incorporating the Beats technology into iTunes could generate a entirely new list of subscribers for the service, which now has over 800 million accounts.

Interestingly, the Beats music app is available for Android and Windows smartphones, and in a version for desktop computers. It’s not clear if Apple would maintain the apps for the other smartphone brands once the purchase is finalized.

The company has had an on-again, off-again relationship with various investors and funding partners over the years. However, given the size of the reported purchase and Apple’s corporate seriousness, Beats’ financials and ownership must be in-the-clear enough for Apple to act. And Apple’s executives must be thorougly convinced of how Beats’ products will improve iTunes—and their bottom line.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Turkey rejects easing relations with Egypt
Istanbul, Nov 24 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he rejected the reconciliation efforts for friendly relations with Egypt. Turkey does not accept the legitimacy of Egyptian President...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
US defence chief Chuck Hagel forced out
Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) In a surprise development, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned Monday reportedly under pressure amid criticism of President Barack Obama's national security team over how to deal with...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Bette Midler slams 'silly' Ariana Grande
Bette Midler has slammed Ariana Grande's ''silly high voice''. The 68-year-old actress hit out at the 21-year-old star's sexy music videos for being ''silly beyond belief'', and insists the 'Bang Bang' hitmaker's...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Demi Lovato: Me and Miley have nothing in common
Demi Lovato insists she and Miley Cyrus won't be friends again because they have nothing in common. The 22-year-old singers were good pals during their rise to fame but the 'Heart Attack' hitmaker admits that while she...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian American scientist develops path to brighter LCD displays
Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) Researchers led by an Indian-American have developed a polarising filter that can result in mobile device displays that last much longer on a single battery charge and cameras that can shoot...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Kohl's Black Friday Sale launched Online
The Kohl's Black Friday 2014 sale starts at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day in stores, but has launched now on kohls.com. Kohl's offers again the popular $15 Kohl's Cash on every $50 spent in this year's Black Friday sale. This...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Brenton Thwaites for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Brenton Thwaites will star in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'. The star will play the role of British soldier Henry, beating fellow actors such as Ansel Elgort of 'The Fault In Our Stars' and George...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Josh Hutcherson 'moves on' from young adult movies
Josh Hutcherson wants to ''move on'' from young adult films like 'The Hunger Games'. The 22-year-old actor - who has starred in four films based on the dystopian 'Hunger Games' novels since 2011 - plans to explore other...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
33 IS militants killed in Iraq's Mosul, two towns retaken (Roundup)
Baghadad, Nov 24 (IANS) At least 33 militants of the Islamic State (IS) died Monday in the Iraqi city of Mosul and the surrounding area, including a leader who was responsible for the sale of kidnapped Yazidi women,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jailbreak in Argentina, 32 inmates escape
Buenos Aires, Nov 24 (IANS/EFE) Thirty-two inmates escaped over the weekend from a police jail in Rosario, a city in central Argentina, police said Monday. The inmates broke out of the jail Sunday by threatening the...
Read more on Politics Balla