Source: Paul Sakuma/Apple

Apple Acquires Beats, Picks Up Two Superstar Talents

on Wednesday, May. 28th

What was only rumor is now reality. Apple is buying Beats Music and Beats Electronics, makers of the iconic headphones and critically acclaimed music streaming service.

This is an unprecendented acquisition for the Cupertino based tech giant in more than one way. The Beats acquisition, valued at $3 billion in cash and stock, is the largest ever by Apple. It will also be the first time the company holds on to an autonomous brand: Beats headphones and the streaming service will retain their identities for the foreseeable future.

Yet the biggest part of this acquisition may prove to be the talent that is coming along. From The Wall Street Journal:

Beats co-founders—rap star Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine —will join Apple, and Apple will continue to use the Beats brand, a first for the company.

Mr. Iovine said he would leave his post as chairman of Vivendi SA’s Interscope Records and will work full-time at Apple. Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, said he would continue to produce music but do “as much as it takes” for Apple.
Apple has had its fair share of criticism over the years for having a leadership team that was exclusivley white guys. That changed only this year, with the on-boarding of retail superstar Angela Ahrendts as Senior Vice President of Retail. The New York Times reports that both Iovine and Young will report to Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services. While he may not join the leadership team of Apple, Dr. Dre is already a very public figure whose status at the company will be well known.
There is a tantalizing future prospect: if Dre becomes a “voice” for Apple in the future that would make a clear political statement: that a fanatical commitment to quality does not conflict with a commitment to diversity.


Augmented Reality: German Firm Shows Off Touch Based UI

We seem to be on a collision course with wearable computing.



Will VR’s Killer App Make You Sick?

Polygon’s Ben Kuchera has a close-in look at the design philosophy going into Eve: Valkyrie, the “killer app” for virtual reality systems.

Image: Rachel I. Berman (Alice); Publicity image by Darial Sneed for Then She Fell.

Immersive Cinema And The Age of Voxelpunk

In the wake of the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR the issue of the future of virtual reality beyond games has stepped into the media spotlight.


Tribeca’s Storyscapes Returns For An Epic Second Year

The Tribeca Film Festival leapt into the vanguard of transmedia art last year with the inaugural edition of Storyscapes, an event led by TriBeCa’s Director of Digital Initiatives Ingrid Kopp.


Simple Machine Announces Micro-Festival Grants

We’ve been keeping up with Simple Machine, the independent film curation tool for festival and art house programmers, since running across their booth at South By Southwest last year.