Apple purchasing Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats empire has reportedly been in the works since earlier this month, and Dre’s dopey video with Tyrese all but confirmed it. Now it’s officially official: USA Today reports that Apple has purchased Beats Electronics for $3 billion, of which $400 million will vest over time.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and iTunes chief Eddy Cue joined Iovine and Dre at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters today to announce the deal, which gives Apple control over Beats’ lucrative headphone business and its burgeoning streaming music service Beats Music among other products. “This is about music and its importance to society and to Apple,” Cook said. As USA Today notes, “By welcoming Beats into his portfolio, Apple CEO Cook is acknowledging a shift away from its pioneering iTunes pay-per-song model and toward streaming audio. He also is side-stepping founder Jobs’ insistence that all Apple hits be crafted in-house.” And if you think $3 billion is a lot of money (it is), consider this: Apple has $160 billion stockpiled.
Does this represent Apple, which pioneered MP3 sales through the iTunes store, surrendering to the primacy of streaming? Is the concept of an MP3 store becoming outdated? Will Dre ever release Detox? Let’s discuss.