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Apple: The Number of the Beats

In news that should surprise exactly no one with a vague interest in music and tech, Apple’s $3bn acquisition of Beats has been confirmed and as part of the deal, Beats Co-Founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple– as will Chief Creative Officer (and Nine Inch Nails main man) Trent Reznor and Chief Executive Officer Ian Rogers despite initial speculation that they were mere worms in the apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple. That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world”.

Jimmy Iovine added: “I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple. The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special”.

You get the picture- a love-in that would shame John and Yoko. The purchase may yet prove to be more than Apple’s Plastic Ono Band though- the tech giant has come under criticism for a lack of new and innovative products in the absence of Steve Jobs and were arguably losing their edge with the lukewarm launch of iTunes radio and the serious decline of paid downloads in the States.

The deal is expected to go through before the end of 2014, with Beats products offered through the Apple’s retail and online stores. Absolutely no-one is pretending this is about headphones- It’s Apple’s attempt at gaining a foothold at the premium end of the streaming market, clawing back some cool with younger audiences in the process and presumably gaining further celebrity connections through Iovine and Dre. As reported, Beats signed up fewer than 1000,000.

Generate Debate: Will the Beats go on to pose a threat to the likes of Pandora and Spotify? Can you compete with ‘free’? Has Apple lost its edge? And will Dr Dre ever actually release his ‘Detox’ album now that he is reportedly Hip Hop’s first billionaire?

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