Noah J Nelson on Friday, May. 9th
Nothing has ever confused and consternated the Apple-watching tech press quite like the rumor that Apple is buying Beats Electronics, makers of the iconic-if-crappy-sounding Beats headphones, for $3.2 billon dollars.
That would be the biggest acquisition Apple has ever made by far.
Much of the confusion has stemmed from the consensus that while Beats headphones are pretty, they just are not that good. Not Apple good, at any rate. It took The Daily Dot’s Micah Singelton to set the tech press’ head on straight. A Beats acquisition wouldn’t be about the headphones or even Beats’ music streaming service: it would be about people and relationships.
For starters, Beats’ brand power is strong with African Americans, a demographic that Apple doesn’t have on lock. Then there are the big names in Beats’ C-suite. Megaproducer Jimmy Iovine is rumored to come over to Apple as part of the deal. Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor have roles in Beats’ organization as well. Between those three guys alone you have a combination of star power and heavy duty music industry relationships.
Hollywood is all about relationships.
Don’t fully count the headphone business out, however. Anyone who has walked into an Apple Store knows just how much shelf space the Beats brand takes up. Now imagine that Apple’s hardware standards are extended to that line. We could wind up with pricey headphones that look AND sound great.