Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finally Apple confirms $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics and Beats Music

Apple will be purchasing both Beats Electronics and Beats Music for a total of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in equity, reports The Wall Street Journal. News of the deal first surfaced earlier this month, when the Financial Times reported that Apple would be buying Beats for $3.2 billion, pretty close to the final amount. According to Apple's press release, the company expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year. Apple's fiscal fourth quarter runs from the beginning of July to the end of September.

As has also been reported, Beats cofounders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will both join Apple, and Iovine in particular will be leaving Universal Music Group to work at Apple full time. Iovine said the two men's titles at Apple would be "Jimmy and Dre" and that they will split their time between "Apple's electronics and music-streaming divisions." The two will also work to "bridge the cultural divide between technology and entertainment," implying that they will play a part in securing content deals for Apple. Dre will reportedly continue his other career as a music producer but will do "as much as it takes" for Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had kind words to say about the Beats streaming music service in particular: "We love the subscription service that they built," said Cook. "We think it's the first one that really got it right."

Some early speculation suggested that the Beats Music app and service, which is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and via the Web, was an important part of the acquisition, even though the streaming music deals that Beats has secured won't transfer over to Apple. The service would complement Apple's existing iTunes Radio, a more Pandora-like service that doesn't let you select and listen to specific songs on demand, as well as digital music purchases through the iTunes store.

Finally, Apple will retain the Beats logo and branding and will continue to make and sell the headphones and speakers for which Beats is known. Apple's press release about the acquisition spends a paragraph talking about the strength of the Beats brand and notes that "the Beats product lineup will be offered in many more countries through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers."

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