Could Dr. Dre become the first billionaire in hip hop? Conflicting reports have come out that Apple has either bought Beats by Dre or are in talks to acquire the company for an astounding $3.2 billion. Obviously, Beats by Dre will come out the big winner if the acquisition goes through, but analysts are dumbfounded as to why Apple would splurge on the popular headphone manufacturers (who also have their own music streaming subscription service amongst other products and services beyond the headphones).
The acquisition would allow Apple to step their headphone game up, hopefully making the included iPhone earbuds a thing of the past with some better quality Beats by Apple wear. However, the biggest aspect of the acquisition is not Beats by Dre’s big selling point (their headphones), but their steaming service Beats Music. The acquisition of the system and its algorithm could help bolster Apple’s own music service in an attempt to compete with Pandora and Spotify. However, the Beats Music install base isn’t known to have many subscribers.
If the deal goes through, it would become Apple’s most expensive (and riskiest) acquisition to date. Meanwhile, Dr. Dre would become the richest rapper in the music industry. As a fan of both Beats by Dre and Apple, I’m all for the acquisition. If this means increasing the audio quality across all Apple products (iPod, iPad, iPhone, MacBooks, etc.), it can only be a blessing. Sure, stingy audiophiles will complain about Beats by Dre’s focus on deeper bass for a muckier mid tone, but really, the common consumer won’t even notice while they’re juking to their iPads Powered by Beats by Dre Audio™.