Tim Cook is pretty excited about Apple’s biggest acquisition to date. In an email to employees, he welcomes Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and co. to the fold, saying that Beats Music and Beats Electronics will “complement our product line and will help extend the Apple ecosystem in the future.”
Apple is not shy about the fact that sales of its digital music ecosystem have dropped over the last few years, as more customers choose to subscribe to streaming services such as Beats, Rdio and Spotify. And while Apple could certainly have chosen to build its own a la carte streaming solution — it already offers a form of it in iTunes Radio — Cook and Eddie Cue, VP of Software and Services, said that Beats Music is “the first subscription service to get it right.”
“Both Apple and Beats believe that a great music service requires a strong editorial and curation team, and we will continue to expand what we do in those areas.”
Cook also confirmed that Beats Music, which has 250,000 subscribers in the United States and is not yet available in Canada, will remain available for Android and Windows Phone.
As for the long-gone Beats/HTC partnership, Iovine was straightforward about its disastrous ending: “It was really a culture clash,” he said. “It crashed and burned. It didn’t work out.” HTC, at one point, owned a 51% share of Beats Electronics. HTC’s loss is Apple’s gain.
Finally, Cue said during an interview at the Code/Conference that Apple’s lineup for later this year is “the best product pipeline that [he’s] seen in [his] 25 years at Apple.”
This afternoon we announced that Apple is acquiring Beats Music and Beats Electronics, two fast-growing businesses which complement our product line and will help extend the Apple ecosystem in the future. Bringing our companies together paves the way for amazing developments which our customers will love.
Music is an important part of our lives and our culture. Music has the power to inspire us, to comfort us, and to send our emotions soaring. It brings people together and transcends the limits of spoken language.
Apple’s history in music began with selling Macs to musicians. That remains important to us today, but we also bring music to hundreds of millions of customers with iTunes, which is at the forefront of the digital music revolution. Music holds a special place in our hearts at Apple, and we know that we can make an even bigger contribution to something that is so important to our society. That’s why we have kept investing in music and why we’re bringing together these extraordinary teams — so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.
Beats co-founders and music industry pioneers Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple, along with their team of employees. Jimmy has been on the cutting edge of innovation in the music industry for decades, including as a key partner for Apple in the launch of the iTunes Music Store more than ten years ago. He has produced or collaborated with some of the most popular artists in history, and been an important contributor to the success of the iTunes Store.
Beats Music was built with deep respect for both artists and fans. We think it’s the first subscription service to really get it right. Both Apple and Beats believe that a great music service requires a strong editorial and curation team, and we will continue to expand what we do in those areas. The addition of Beats will make our incredible iTunes lineup even better, extending the emotional connection our customers have with music.
The Beats Music team will report to Eddy. The teams will be getting to know each other better in the weeks ahead, and we are very excited about the possibilities for the future.
Beats Electronics has become the brand of choice for headphones and speakers in both the music and sports world, just five years after its launch. They are among the most popular and highest-rated third-party products sold today in Apple’s retail and online stores. We see an incredible opportunity to bring Apple’s legendary design and engineering capabilities to these popular products under Phil’s leadership.
Please join me in welcoming Beats to Apple. I hope you are as excited as I am about this new chapter in our history.