Apple has confirmed that it’s to snap up Beats Audio, the headphones and streaming service set up by Dr Dre and producer-cum-music mogul Jimmy Iovine.
The deal had been chattered about for weeks, but with Apple’s official nod, we’ve now got a better idea of what the Cupertino company has planned for its new acquisition.
But instead of browsing acres of coverage to find out Tim Cook’s strategy, why not read our five key things you need to know to get clued in on the deal?
1 The Beats name will continue
Beats’ global brand awareness is legendary, even if its headphones are given a wide berth by audiophiles.
To this end, Apple has no immediate plans to can the Beats name.
Instead, it’s going to push its headphones harder in Apple stores across the globe, as well as at its approved resellers.
Apple knows well what great marketing and branding can do, so there’s no chance of it slapping an Apple logo on those headphones just yet.
2 Music streaming is more important than the headphones
For all the talk about the ubiquity of the Beats ‘b’ logo, the real reason Apple has snapped up Beats is because of its Beats Music streaming service.
Small enough that it didn’t require an absurd fee, Apple knows that the streaming platform will help it regain lost ground in the music business.
Behind Apple' press release bluster about consumers’ love for iTunes, download sales are down and the future of the industry lies in the hands of those with the best streaming product.
Get Beats Music onto iOS as a native app and Apple might have a chance of catching Spotify and Google Play Music.
3 The deal will be finalised by September
Apple said it’s hoping to close the deal for Beats by the end of ‘fiscal Q4’.
Seeing as Apple’s financial year starts in October, that means we should see Dre and Iovine get their cash come the beginning of autumn.
If that is the case, expect to see deep Beats integration in both the new iPhone 6 and the forthcoming iPad range. Apple cannot afford to lag behind even further in this regard.
4 Dre and Iovine are set to work for Apple
Apple could use an injection of cool and it’s going to get it, with Dre and Iovine coming in house to work at Cupertino.
Their roles have not been defined yet, but it will mean that we’re likely to see them at events (such as WWDC) and should help Apple try and push itself harder into youth markets, convincing young listeners that the Apple brand remains synonymous with cool, even if Beats’ products don’t always garner critical acclaim.
5 More will be revealed at WWDC
WWDC kicks off on Monday next week. And you can bet that we’ll be hearing way more about this deal then, including how Beats will dovetail with iTunes Radio and iOS 8.
Iovine and Dre are likely to be there, even if it’s only to offer platitudes about Apple’s products.