Apple Buying Beats for $3.2B: Dr. Dre & Tyrese

Several sources, including Dr. Dre himself, suggest the iPhone maker is splashing down $3.2 billion to acquire Beats for its streaming music service and wearables.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

May 9, 2014

2 Min Read
Apple Buying Beats for $3.2B: Dr. Dre & Tyrese

Apple is reportedly ready to spend $3.2 billion to buy Beats, AT&T's streaming music partner, according to several sources, including Dr. Dre himself.

The owner of Beats hinted at the acquisition in a "video selfie" with the actor Tyrese posted Friday morning. Dr. Dre said he was set to become the "first billionaire in hip hop." And Tyrese posted the clip on Facebook (since removed) with the caption: "Dr Dre ON THE night his deal went public that he did with Apple 3.2 BILLION!!!!"

Forbes pointed out that the deal would actually net him around $800 million but still would make him hip-hop's richest man.

Hip-hop hierarchy aside, the deal is notable because, for one thing, it will be one of the largest acquisitions in Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s history, showing what a big bet it is placing on streaming music. It's also potentially good news for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which revealed just yesterday that it's considering shutting down Cricket's Muve Music, likely in favor of its partner's service. (See Apple iTunes Radio Brings the Beat to LTE and AT&T to Turn Down Muve's Music?)

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also suggests that the deal could help Apple out in the emerging category of wearables. He writes in a research note:

Apple would also gain what we believe is an amazing creative team for the design and creation of hardware, primarily accessories that we believe could be very valuable in the context of the wearables market. We believe such a team could help the development of a future iWatch and other wearable products from Apple. Those two assets and capabilities alone may be worth the purchase price.

Misek also wrote that this could jumpstart competition in the music business with a response from Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). For example, he suggests that Spotify could be an attractive acquisition target for Amazon.

All this activity could really kickstart a once-stagnant mobile music market. But it remains to be seen if that's a positive or negative thing for wireless operators, which might gain either partners or competitors for streaming services.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like