Apple on Wednesday confirmed the deal that has puzzled every industry analyst on the planet for the past few weeks: Apple is buying Beats Electronics. News of the imminent acquisition broke earlier this month and was then independently confirmed by several large papers. What was never confirmed — or even really understood by anyone, it seemed — was exactly why Apple was buying Beats in what is the company’s largest-ever acquisition at $3 billion.
Some say buying Beats is Apple’s best idea since the iPad and others say it could very well be the beginning of the end for Apple. All we know for sure though, is that the deal is real.
Beats’ streaming music service will operate separately from the iTunes music store.
Apple said it expects the transaction to close in the fiscal fourth quarter. In the meantime, Beats’ annual streaming music subscription price has dropped to $99.
Also of note, Beats Music will soon officially be Apple’s first Android app.
Here’s is Apple’s full press release:
Apple to Acquire Beats Music & Beats Electronics
CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apple® today announced it has agreed to acquire the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.
“That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”
Iovine has been at the forefront of innovation in the music industry for decades, and he has been an instrumental partner for Apple and iTunes® for more than a decade. He has produced or collaborated with some of the most successful artists in the history of the iTunes Store®, helping make it the world’s number one music retailer. Iovine and Dr. Dre are sound pioneers, artists and entrepreneurs.
Beats Electronics has brought the energy, emotion and excitement of playback in the recording studio back to the listening experience and has introduced an entirely new generation to premium sound entertainment. Beats Music was developed by a team of people who have each spent their entire career in music and provides music fans with an incredible curated listening experience.
“Music is such an important part of Apple’s DNA and always will be,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years.”
In just five years since launch, the Beats “b” has become the brand of choice in the music and sports worlds, and is the market leader in the premium headphone market. Music superstars including Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj have designed their own customized Beats headphones and speakers. Fashion designers and street artists such as Alexander Wang, Futura and Snarkitecture have collaborated on special limited products, while renowned athletes including LeBron James, Serena Williams and Neymar use Beats as a critical part of their training and game day process. Beats has quickly become part of pop culture in the US and with the acquisition 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.
Subject to regulatory approvals, Apple expects the transaction to close in fiscal Q4.