A brand with some serious star power behind it, Beats Electronics is an audio company that produces headphones, earphones and speakers. It has a strong presence in popular culture, with its products often spotted on famous musicians, athletes and other celebrities. Beats is now owned by Apple.
A brief history
Beats Electronics was established in 2006 by two men – controversial American rapper Dr. Dre and the co-founder of Interscope Records, Jimmy Iovine. The company was formed in response to the perceived issue of substandard audio quality provided by earphones and headphones at the time.
Beats initially enlisted the help of Monster Cable to assist with the manufacturing and development of its products. The company’s first ‘Beats by Dr. Dre Studio’ headphones debuted in 2008.
In 2012, Beats Electronics and Monster discontinued their partnership, and every aspect of the company was subsequently overseen by Dre and Iovine. It doubled its workforce and introduced two new, self-developed products, ‘Beats Executive’ headphones and the ‘Beats Pill’. Shortly after, the company’s revenue reached the US$1 billion mark.
The company launched Beats Music, its online music streaming service, in January 2014. The service was only available to users in the US at launch, and has remained that way since.
In May 2014, it was revealed that Apple and Beats were discussing an acquisition, with Apple offering to purchase the company for US$3.2 billion, which was the largest sum offered or spent on an acquisition in Apple’s history. At the end of the month, the deal was formally announced, with Apple stating that it would acquire Beats Electronics for US$3 billion.