According to a report in Financial Times, Apple is about to make their biggest acquisition ever by acquiring Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. As a result, the computer maker will acquire streaming service Beats Music, which was launched earlier this year. According to sources, the Beats management team will report to Apple chief Tim Cook. Both Apple and Beats have launched streaming music services within the past eight months, but neither has really caught on with consumers. iTunes Radio launched back in September, and while it’s free and included in iTunes, it hasn’t really led to people buying music from iTunes, as Spotify and Pandora have continued to get the bulk of listenership of streaming music services. Beats Music launched earlier this year, but beyond a free initial trial, costs $9.99/month.
While it’s a huge acquisition, it could definitely be a win for both companies. First of all, maybe the headphones in iPhones will finally be good! Secondly, it makes Apple, already an iconic brand, “cooler.” And if Apple goes with their “iWatch” accessory that has been talked about for at least a year, Beats have proven to be as much about fashion (maybe even moreso) than they have audio quality.
Where does metal come in to the conversation? Well, from our limited time trying out Beats Music, we found it to be awesome. the curation, with partners like Decibel and Revolver, has been amazing, and that’s not even counting the already solid curation from their in-house people. Again, this is just our initial listen from a few weeks of listening, but it seemed a lot better of an experience than Pandora and iTunes Radio. Beats claimed that 70% of its 750,000 users that signed up for the trial period stuck around as paid subscribers, but that’s still a fraction of Spotify’s 6 million users.