Guess who’s getting his money right?
After weeks of rumors, Apple has finally come clean with the announcement that it will acquire Beats headphones manufacturer Beats Electronics, as well as “the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music,” for a total of about $3 billion, making this Apple’s largest takeover deal ever. And no, the company didn’t forget about Dre: Both Beats cofounders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, will join the tech giant as a result of the sale.
“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.” (You’ll have to read between the lines to find the dollar signs.)
Iovine and Dre founded Beats Electronics in 2008. Since then, it’s become a leader in the premium headphone market; Beats Music launched formally on January 21, 2014. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor serves as the company’s chief creative officer. “When I heard about Pandora, I thought it was the greatest thing that mankind has ever created,” he told EW earlier this year. “For the first hour, it was. Hour two, something doesn’t feel quite as magic. Week two, it was ‘Oh, I see, there’s a handful of songs that gets shuffled around.’ You start to hear a machine in there somewhere. Our goal was everything you see in the app, a human being said, ‘That’s a f—ing good song.’”
It’s still unclear exactly how this sale will affect Beats Music, iTunes Radio, or any future products — though as EW’s Kyle Anderson points out, “if they finally improve on those disastrous little white earbuds, then we all win.” One thing’s for sure, though: Somewhere in Cupertino, two music titans are really feeling the California love.