Dre Stories August 6, 2015

compton-dre

Update: The stream is now live, an hour early.

Earlier this week, Dr. Dre announced that his first new album in 15 years while hosting his show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 station. While the album has been available for preorder since then, it will be available to stream for free on Apple Music later tonight at 6PM PT. The album, entitled Compton: A Soundtrack, is entirely exclusive to Apple and is being described by Dre as his “grand finale.”

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Dre Stories August 2, 2015

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Dr. Dre joined Apple as part of the Beats acquisition last year. Dre’s contribution to (aside from branding) is questioned by critics but fans of his work will be pleased to know he announced his first new album in fifteen years, entitled Compton A Soundtrack. The album can be preordered on iTunes now ready for release on August 7th.

Dre announced his long-awaited new release on his Beats 1 radio show yesterday with rapper and former colleague, Ice Cube. The album will be exclusive to Apple, available to buy on iTunes or stream on Apple Music.

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Dre Stories August 24, 2014

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Apple has begun pushing the Beats Music streaming service via email to iTunes customers. The emails promote the free-to-download Beats Music app’s “Just For You” and “Tune Your Taste” features and note that Beats is now “part of the Apple family.” Apple finalized its acquisition of both Beats Music and Beats Electronics at the beginning of this month, and Apple has already begun promoting Beats Electronics via a new section on the online store and notable discounts. This email push is the second Apple promotion of the streaming app as the company has already integrated the app into the App Store’s “Apps by Apple” category. Full email below:

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Dre Stories August 15, 2014

Dre Stories August 1, 2014

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ian Rogers, the head of Beats Music, will now also lead iTunes Radio following the Apple acquisition. Apple wants to increase collaboration between both Beats Music and iTunes Radio by having both streaming services led by Rogers. Up to now, iTunes Radio has been headed by Jeff Robin’s team, best known for creating the software that became iTunes.

The Journal says that Rogers’ leadership will increase ‘cohesion’ between the services, which currently offer a lot of app in their end-user experiences. It is still unclear whether Apple has plans to consolidate the brands.

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Apple formally takes ownership of 13 percent of Beats from Vivendi/Universal Music Group

Apple’s $3B acquisition of Beats was never going to be completed overnight, and it’s only today that Apple actually completed its purchase of the 13 percent of the company that was owned by Vivendi/Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record label.

In a one-sentence press release, Vivendi announced that the sale of its shares had been completed for a total of $404M. It was expected that Apple would have acquired all of the Beats shares by the end of September, but based on the formal welcome message, it appears this may complete the sale.

While Wall Street may have been unimpressed by the acquisition, Tim Cook described it as an exciting new chapter in Apple’s history, and Eddy Cue said that the deal would help music grow again.

Apple is in the process of determining which Beats staff will join Apple, and which positions will be eliminated.

Dre Stories July 30, 2014

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

As Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music nears completion this financial quarter, the Cupertino and Culver City, California-based companies have begun work on transitioning select employees and technology resources from Beats to Apple, according to sources briefed on the transition. Apple executives have visited Beats’ Southern California headquarters this week and last week to offer groups of employees positions at Apple and to notify some members of the Beats staff that they will not be included in the transition.

Many Beats employees in development and creative roles have been offered positions at Apple. Many of these employees will be offered space in Apple’s Cupertino offices, but Apple is said to plan to retain the Los Angeles-area offices, and select engineers on the Beats Music streaming service will continue working out of Southern California. An email from Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed earlier this year that Beats hardware employees would transition to Phil Schiller’s team in Cupertino, so it seems likely that the headphone and speaker makers will make up the majority of the new Cupertino staff…

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Dre Stories July 21, 2014

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In the weeks between the Apple-Beats acquisition first being reported as being in final talks and the two companies both officially announcing the deal, Billboard interviewed Daniel Ek, the CEO and co-founder of the streaming music giant Spotify, asking about his take on Apple becoming a subscription streaming music competitor through Beats Music.

At the time, Ek was reserved in saying too much about the proposition. “I don’t like speculating about things that haven’t happened,” Ek stated. He did, however, say that he always believed Apple would enter the streaming music space and doubled down saying Spotify is focused on “building the best possible product” while noting the service’s 40 million users with 10 million paid customers.

The Spotify CEO was interviewed last week at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference and once again asked about the Apple-Beats deal, this time with the acquisition being official: expand full story

Dre Stories July 14, 2014

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Apple agreed to acquire Beats for several reasons: for the streaming music service, for the headphones, for the speakers, and to bring Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine into the Cupertino fold. But the New York Post believes that Apple is seeking help from the Beats team for another important area of the Apple business: advertising. It’s no secret in the technology and advertising world that Apple could not be anymore displeased with the services as of late from longtime ad partner TBWA, and unnamed ad agency executives are said to believe that the Beats team could improve Apple’s ads:

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Dre Stories June 11, 2014

Lebron James and Dr. Dre on the field at Fenway Park

Even though his team is down a game in the NBA Championship series against the San Antonio Spurs, athlete LeBron James does have something new to smile about. As part of Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music, James is due to net a profit of $30 million:

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Dre Stories May 29, 2014

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Judging by a roundup in The Wall Street Journal, analysts and investors appear not to share the enthusiasm for Beats acquisition express by Tim Cook and Eddy Cue. While Cook said he was “excited […] about this new chapter in our history” and Cue believed that “combining the two companies will help [music] grow again,” Wall Street is more skeptical.

“To see this kind of money spent for a company that gets most of its revenue from hardware business is not what we want to see,” said Dan Niles, chief investment officer of hedge fund AlphaOne Capital Partners …

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Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference(Image via Re/code)

It’s typical in any acquisition for both parties to sing the praises of their new partner, and Eddy Cue was certainly playing his part at Re/code’s Code Conference, saying that Beats’ curated playlists were a key strength and would help music grow again. As Mark Gurman reported in his live blog coverage at Code Conference:

Cue said Apple bought Beats because “music is dying. It hasn’t been growing.” He said combining the two companies will help it grow again […]

Cue said what makes Beats good is that it provides users with curated playlists.

He said: “When you bring what Beats has got and what we’ve got it’s not two plus two is four. It’s something much more than that” …

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Cue and Iovine: Apple didn’t reset after Jobs but it did shuffle the team when it lost ‘its point guard’ [Video]

Cue: “I think Steve Jobs would be very proud of what we’re doing and what we’re building”

Dre Stories May 28, 2014

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Cue on the right, Iovine on the left

Earlier today, Apple announced that it has acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music for a total of $3 billion. Tonight, two of the masterminds behind the deal will be interviewed about a range of topics at the Code Conference. Apple Senior Vice President of Software and Services Eddy Cue along with Beats co-founder and music mogul Jimmy Iovine will be interviewed by Re/code’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Previously, Cue was scheduled to be interviewed alongside Apple Senior Software Vice President Craig Federighi, but it appears that the acquisition’s announcement changed up the plans. We are on hand for the interview and we will be providing live coverage below. The interview starts around 8PM Pacific/11PM Eastern Standard time:

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Dre Stories May 27, 2014

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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Dre Stories May 14, 2014

Beats buyout may take a little longer than expected, could be finalized next week

Last week it was reported that Apple was in final talks to acquire Beats Electronics for over $3 billion, and that the buyout would be completed by this week. Now a new report from Re/code indicates that the deal may take a little longer than initially expected. According to Re/code’s sources, the deal may not be finalized until next week.

Beats cofounders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are expected to join Apple’s executive team after the acquisition and will reportedly appear onstage at WWDC next month. While Apple hasn’t given any indication of why it’s interested in buying the company, it’s not hard to conclude that its iconic headphones and new music streaming service both have big potential as part of Apple’s future. Dre and Iovine both also have connections to the music industry that could benefit Apple greatly.

It seems we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out exactly what Apple plans to do with its latest acquisition.

Dre Stories May 13, 2014

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Following the presumed acquisition of Beats, Apple plans to up its music game with support for high-resolution audio files in a revamped Music app in iOS 8, and to offer a higher-quality version of its In-Ear Headphones, reports Japanese blog Macotakara

The source of the high-res audio rumor appears somewhat circumstantial, linked to a Warner Music post about the forthcoming release of a ‘Super Deluxe’ version of three remastered early Led Zeppelin albums in 96kHz/24-bit form – a resolution the current iOS Music app cannot play. It is, however, consistent with a similar earlier rumor regarding iTunes support for higher-quality audio …  expand full story

Dre Stories May 12, 2014

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

If the Apple acquisition of Beats Electronics actually moves forward, co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine could see their grand introductions as Apple executives at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in early June. That’s at least according to Billboard, which has a great track record in covering the music industry…

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Dre Stories May 9, 2014

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

As part of the impending $3.2 billion Apple acquisition of Beats Electronics, Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine will join Apple as senior executives, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal

But as Apple completes a deal to buy headphone and streaming-service company Beats Electronics LLC from Mr. Iovine and his co-founder, rap star Dr. Dre, both men are likely to take senior positions with the Cupertino, Calif., tech company, according to people familiar with the matter, commuting from the Los Angeles area to Silicon Valley—or meetings elsewhere—as needed.

The report does not seem to indicate that the two men will be full-time employees. Rather, it seems possible that the pair will commute and take meetings as needed. In the modern world of technology, working remotely is not a far-fetched possibility. If the deal closes, Iovine is also expected to resign as Chairman of Interscope, a record label…

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Poll: Do you like Apple’s decision to buy Beats for $3.2bn?

With multiple sources saying that Apple’s acquisition of Beats is in the final stages, everyone is trying to figure out what Apple has to gain from the deal. Earlier, we posted some guesses about what the acquisition could be for, but nobody really knows for certain yet.

With reports that Apple is in final talks to close a $3.2 billion deal to purchase Beats Electronics, we thought it would be interesting to revisit a recent interview with the company’s co-founder Jimmy Iovine from just before the launch of Beats Music. The interview above was from the D: Dive Into Media conference back in February of 2013 and in it Iovine gives a lot of insight into his view of the music industry leading up to the launch of the company’s new Beats Music subscription streaming service.

You’ll also get a sense of just how important a figure Iovine is in the music industry, which might be why Tim Cook is rumored to be keeping Iovine on as a special adviser on creative matters through the Beats deal. Lots of topics are covered, but the interview as a whole gives great perspective into Beats’ mission with its new streaming music service.

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Apple’s apparent purchase of Beats took everyone by surprise. I must confess that my immediate reaction was to be slightly appalled. As someone whose audio tastes run more to B&O and B+W, I’ve always viewed Beats headphones as over-bassed, over-priced fashion items. But then my tastes in music admittedly differ somewhat from those of the typical Beats customer.

Even so, it’s still a little baffling at first glance. Tim Cook himself said a year ago that Apple asks two questions when considering an acquisition:

Would it help us make a great product, and would the culture fit at Apple?

My immediate answer to both would be “no,” so why would Apple spend $3.2B on a headphone manufacturer with a small sideline streaming music service … ?  expand full story

Dre Stories October 16, 2012

Beats Pill Bluetooth portable speaker with NFC chip for iOS now available for $199

Beats Electronics just announced the availability of its Jawbone speaker alternative, the Beats Pill.

The four-speaker system is compatible with iOS and Android via Bluetooth 4.0, and it amplifies app audio and supports all call functions including conference calls due to a built-in microphone. It also boasts an NFC chip so users can pair an NFC-enabled smartphone with just a tap.

Additional specs:

  • Rechargeable lithium ion battery provides 7 hours of continuous play
  • AC Power adapter with USB receptacle for charging
  • Auto shut-off after 30 minutes of no signal detection in order to conserve battery life
  • 3.5mm line out for connection to an external speaker system
  • Built-in mic for hands free conferencing
  • Echo cancellation for call clarity and feedback control
  • 8 Bluetooth profiles
  • Tap-to-pair NFC and apt-X technology for easy and instant Bluetooth audio

It is available today in black, red, and white options for $199 at Beats’ website and select retailers.

Check it out: Beats Pill—Just what the doctor ordered

The full press release is below.

(The company also announced The Beats By Dr. Dre Executive Headphones for $299.95. Complete details are in the presser below.)

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