Apple plans relaunched Beats streaming music service for WWDC, skipping March event; Apple TV still coming

iPhone 6 Beats Music

Apple won’t take the wraps off of its upcoming Beats-based music streaming service at its March 9 “Spring Forward” event, according to music industry sources briefed on the launch timeline. Instead, Apple currently plans to introduce the service, at least in beta form, at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June. The WWDC keynote likely takes place on Monday, June 8th, and that’s the event where the debut will occur. The new iTunes music streaming service is based on technology acquired from Beats Music, including curated playlists, cloud-based libraries, and offerings customized to the musical tastes of individual users. The service will be priced as high as $7.99 per month, which is less expensive than current $9.99 pricing for Beats Music, Spotify, and Rdio…

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Opinion: Could Apple’s integrated streaming music service decimate the competition?

Image: Forbes

Image: Forbes

When Apple enters a new business, you know it’s not going to do so in a half-hearted, small way. When it launches its Apple-branded Beats Music service later this year, it’s a no-brainer to predict that it’s going to be a big deal for the music industry. With Apple’s deep integration of Beats into its existing iOS/iTunes ecosystem exclusively revealed by Mark Gurman added into the mix, I wonder whether the unique selling points being notched up by Apple could be enough to leave existing big-name players like Spotify, Google Play and Rdio dead in the water?

That’s rather a grand idea, of course. As of last month, Spotify reached 15 million paid subscribers–up 50% in the last six months alone. Beats Music had only a little over 100,000 subscribers at the time Apple bought the company, and is rumored to have only 2-3 times as many now. But an Apple-ified Beats Music service has four things going for it …  Read more

The Next Episode: Apple’s plans for Beats-based music service revealed

CueBeats

Six months after buying the subscription music service Beats Music, Apple is actively working to launch a completely new paid streaming music service that will compete with Spotify and Rdio. Yet to be named, the new service is entirely Apple-designed, yet leverages Beats’ technologies and music content, a collaboration that has thus far led to personnel challenges and delays. Multiple sources within Apple and the music industry have provided the first in-depth details of Apple’s upcoming streaming service, which we share below.

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Monster files lawsuit against Beats Electronics claiming Iovine and Dre stole headphone tech

beats-by-dre-solo-hd-black

Beats Electronics has definitely faced its share of lawsuits after being acquired by Apple, but today yet another company has announced that it’ll be taking the electronics maker to court. Rival Monster has filed a claim against Beats that alleges the latter stole its headphone tech.

The original Beats headphones were designed in conjunction with Monster, but Monster CEO Noel Lee says that Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre took what they learned from his company—and the technology that powered the headphones—then simply slapped Dre’s name on it.

You can see the full complaint below:

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Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine school for entrepreneurs geared to Steve’s vision of technology & liberal arts, they tell the WSJ

The undergraduate academy for entrepreneurs created at the University of Southern California by Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine is geared to fulfilling Steve Jobs’ vision of operating at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, say the duo in a WSJ profile.

There’s a new kid in town, and he’s brought up on an iPad from one and a half years old. But the problem with some of the companies up north [in Silicon Valley] is that they really are culturally inept. I’ve been shocked at the different species in Northern and Southern California—we don’t even speak the same language. The kid who’s going to have an advantage in the entertainment industry today is the kid who speaks both languages: technology and liberal arts. That’s what this school is about.

Iovine said in a USC commencement speech that The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation was there to “inspire, challenge, and satisfy the curiosity of the next wave of game-changers” …  Read more

Iovine smacks down NFL saying ban gives Beats free publicity, Dre wanted to get into shoes before headphones

Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine And Luke Wood Launch The Beats By Dr. Dre Pill At The Beats Store In Soho, NY

Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine responded to a recent fine levied by the NFL against 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for wearing Beats headphones during a post-game interview. Iovine said that he was glad players considered Beats ‘cool’ and that the company had gotten millions of dollars worth of publicity out of the media coverage surrounding the ban and subsequent fine.

Iovine also recounted out the Beats brand got started…

Apple makes a cameo in Beats’ epic World Cup ad (Video)

Apple’s iPhone and MacBook both made appearances in Beats’ new headphones ad celebrating the World Cup. Apple, of course, announced that it is buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion last week, a deal it expects to be approved by the end of September, and featured a Beats plug earlier this week at WWDC when Dr. Dre was phoned in to the keynote and Eddy Cue was photographed wearing Beats headphones… Read more

Apple introduces MFi specs for Lightning cable headphones, support arriving in future iOS update

Beats-lightning

We’ve learned Apple has quietly introduced a new specification for manufacturers in its Made-For-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program that allows them to create headphones that connect to iOS devices using a Lightning connector instead of the usual 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple has not flipped the switch on the audio input support for Lightning cables and existing iOS devices, but it will release a software update in the future that will enable support in devices running iOS 7.1 or later. Read more

In the midst of Apple acquisition, Beats tries to solidify its high end (sound) rep with new Solo2 cans

beats-dre-solo-2-headphones

We’re less than 24 hours removed from Apple announcing its acquisition of Beats and the Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine headphone empire has already announced a new product.

The Beats Solo2 headphones are a follow-up to the massively popular Solo model that sold nearly four units every minute last year. It seems that Beats has addressed one of the biggest criticisms of previous models. Some said they were too bass-heavy which resulted in what some critics called “poorly-mixed hip-hop sound”.

The Solo2 headphone has a more dynamic, wider range of sound, with a clarity that will bring you closer to what the artist intended, whether you’re into hip-hop, heavy metal, jazz, electronic, or country.

These new cans sport a nearly identical design, while some tweaks have been made to increase overall comfort.

…the frame of the headphone has been curved like never before, giving the Solo2 a custom-fit feeling. The earcups have been ergonomically angled to complete this natural fit, with pivots for optimal comfort and sound delivery. Finally, the earcups’ premium material helps dissipate heat and minimize sound leakage.

Apple obviously had no impact on this product release since the deal isn’t expected to be finalized until the company’s fiscal Q4 of this year, but it’s interesting to see Beats trying to shake of some its old stigmas to appeal to audiophiles as well as music listeners who put bass and fashion first.

The Solo2 headphones are now available for preorder for $199.95 in a range of colors from Best Buy, beatsbydre.com, and are expected to hit other authorized retailers late this week… Read more

Report: Apple drops Beats deal to $3B, cites low subscription numbers, due diligence

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Unveil Beats By Dr. Dre 2011 Holiday Product Line-Up

Earlier this month, reports emerged claiming that Apple was in negotiations to buy headphone and streaming music company Beats for $3.2 billion, making it Apple’s largest deal in history. According to a new report out of the NY Post, Apple has recently dropped the price its willing to pay for the company to $3 billion. It’s unclear as to what exactly caused Apple to lower its offer, but a report last week broke down a variety of reasons as to why the deal could be delayed. One of the reasons was a vulgar video from Dr. Dre, that apparently “freaked” Apple out. It’s also possible that a leaked report claiming that Beats only had 110,000 paying subscribers made Apple even more skeptical.

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Beats acquisition could be delayed for a variety for reasons, including Dre’s early ‘announcement’ video

beats

While it was previously reported that the Apple buyout of Beats Electronics was supposed to be announced this week, Billboard has compiled a list of five different reasons the deal isn’t yet finalized according to its own sources.

A few of these potential hold-ups include issues determining Beats’ valuation and issues with finding a place for Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to fit into Apple’s corporate structure. According to one of Billboard’s sources, Apple’s executives were “freaked out” by the video that surfaced a few weeks ago of Dr. Dre and Tyrese Gibson (accidentally) confirmed that a deal was in the works.

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Beats co-founder Steven Lamar brings royalty claim, reveals the company’s early Apple connection

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Unveil Beats By Dr. Dre 2011 Holiday Product Line-Up

Steven Lamar, who helped create Beats headphones in 2006, has filed a complaint against Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine claiming he’s owed royalties on most of the company’s latest headphones, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In the complaint, Lamar recounts the earliest connection between Beats and Apple—and that the Cupertino company was almost the first Beats distributor.

Back in 2006, Lamar first hatched the idea for a line of celebrity-endorsed headphones. He took the idea to Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine and asked if Dr. Dre would be the celebrity sponsor. Lamar worked with a firm called Pentagram to create the first design for what would become Beats headphones.

That’s when Ivovine introduced Lamar to Apple retail VP Jerry McDougal. Lamar suggested to McDougal that Beats headphones should be sold in Apple retail stores, even going so far as to design the packaging around that very idea. McDougal introduced Lamar to Don Inmon, the man responsible for product placement in Apple’s retail stores.

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