I’ve been trying to make sense of Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dre. This Verge article made me understand that the Beats hardware business is very similar to Apple’s. They sell well designed hardware at high margins. That makes perfect sense. Then I started thinking about how do you deal with two iconic brands merging together like that? Will iPhones suddenly be packaged with a little sticker or stenciling on the back of the phone itself that says “Audio Powered by Beats”? I don’t think so. But you can’t just buy Beats and toss the brand. Then it hit me. What if Beats becomes the core of a new iTunes? What if Beats (the brand, the headphones, the music service, the execs, their relationships, everything) becomes the new music eco-system for Apple? .
The Beats acquisition is the beginning of the end of iTunes. iTunes is a bloated desktop app which is overloaded with functions. It’s how we buy music, movies, etc. It’s how we used to buy books and apps before the iBooks and App stores. iTunes needs to be broken up. It is being broken up and this move by Apple is how they handle the music aspect of this transition.
If this is Apples intent are there other media related companies Apple could buy in TV or the movie industry? Do the try to build as in iBooks or buy as in Beats for the rest of what’s left of iTunes? This will be fun to watch. Maybe as fun as hearing Dr. Dre say a few words at a WWDC keynote.