I’m confused. Apple is the biggest, smartest, most strategic tech company ever, right? Apple is, arguably, the most valuable brand on the planet. Why then, I ask, are they buying a brand (for 3.2 BILLION)? And let’s be honest…that’s what Beats is. A brand…not a tech company, not a proprietary tech solution of any kind…it’s a brand.
I thought about this for a minute…maybe two…and the more I did the more confused I was. Beats’ headphones, if you ask anyone other than the NBA and/or the teenager on his school bus, are not great. This is confirmed by yours truly. I tried them – all of them. I was intrigued by the brand, the style, the look, the feel…but the performance stunk. Sorry – that’s the truth. Try those cool looking Beats head phones vs. any Bose pair and you’ll see (or should I say hear?) just how inferior those suckers are. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine branded the crap out of Beats, got amazing spokespeople, get FREE advertising from high profile athletes and musicians…they’ve crushed the branding aspect and win the marketing game – They’ve done so well in that area that people don’t seem to care that the product is just not that awesome. That alone should be a red flag for the best hardware/product company on the planet, right? Apparently not.
Anyway…Beats also owns a streaming music service! Is that it Apple? Is that what you want? You want to get into the Music game? Oh wait…You have that covered too. There is a little thing call Itunes that, last time I checked, was the biggest music retailer online – in the world. If anyone thinks because Beats Music is a streaming service and that brings something new to the table – they are wrong. Itunes could click a button and stream tomorrow…They’ve actually been working on this for a long time. It was just a matter of time before they released that new product and crushed Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody and the rest of em’. And, just saying, Beats Music has about 12 subscribers and is pretty insignificant when you think about the others in the space. It’s just a shell, a skeleton – it’s not a business or a real product yet.
So Apple – Why? What problem does this massive acquisition solve? How does this add value to your shareholders? What does this do for your users? I’m still stumped…
Maybe Apple and Tim Cook got bored. They were like “we are sitting on 150 BILLION dollars cash…maybe we should spend some of that. So…let’s get crazy!” Perhaps they thought it was time to make some noise? Get out there and have people talk about them (see- me!)? That’s fair – I mean you got to keep things interesting right? Not everything makes sense and Apple sure has earned the right to do what they want.
While I may be confused – What is crystal. freaking. clear. is…Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and Ian Rogers WIN. Bunch of rich geniuses over there. Well done fellas…. One day – I’d love to hear about how those conversations went w/ Tim Cook and Eddy Cue because how you guys convinced the biggest, most valuable, brand and tech product company ever to shell out 3.2B for a brand is nothing short of incredible.