Originally Posted by Rogifan
Is music really the future? This seems so mid 2000s to me. As if Apple is trying to get back some of the iPod cool. Listen to this recent podcast from Ben Thompson: http://exponent.fm/
. the guy on the podcast with him makes some good points. Apple's MO has always been about making the best products. I don't see how this fits in with that. It doesn't seem like Beats really has the best of anything other than just a cool brand. And when in the past has Apple purchased another company for its brand or for a revenue stream? If Jimmy Iovine is really that special surely Apple could have nabbed him without having to buy the whole company?
Streaming music certainly is the future of music, but is it the next big thing? We can make fun of Google buying a thermostat company, but what they were really buying into is the internet of things, buying into big data. Tony Fadell already said they're thinking beyond thermostats and smoke detectors. Go to any website these days and all you see are Microsoft Cloud advertisements. They're all over TV too. Again all about big data. Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana already has more functionality than Siri does. To me Beats isn't skating to where the puck will be. It's trying to buy some cool and fix a music service that Apple should have working on 3-4 years ago. Acquisitions like AuthenTec, PrimeSense, a lot of the location mapping stuff, the hires with experience in the medical devices fields, those all seem more about the future than Beats does. And none of them cost $3B.
A) I'm not sure what you're trying to say about music, that people are going to stop listening to it? In retrospect, after thinking about this Beats rumor, it seems pretty obvious that buying music off iTunes, even stealing it from bit torrent or whatever, has become stale. iTunes is a great service, but as Iovine said in that interview (highly recommend watching it), iTunes is just a utility (lack of curation, descriptions of artists or albums are not good, and are few and far between). Nowadays (most) people, particularly younger people, the people primarily consuming music, are looking for other ways of getting music, and its usually free, and legal. These new sources curate the music. Soundcloud is a great example of this, with free streaming and downloads, curated by the artists I chose to follow, and the songs they curate on thier own feeds. Beats Music, with the resources of iTunes/Apple, can vastly improve iTunes, and create a fantastic curated music service.
B) I don't think Apple is "buying cool." This actually seems like a practical and astute move. Apple knows they can't build this in house, so they are bringing in people that can, even if they're rough around the edges. I don't think you can find people that will fit neatly in the Apple ethos that can provide the type of music curation service that Beats is offering.
C) I think it's very misguided to say that Apple should not be working on this because it may not be "the next big thing" (whatever that means). It doesn't mean Apple isn't working on other things (integrated home, wearables, whatever). Apple seems to value music as much more than just the revenue it brings in, or as just another utility for the ecosystem; every year they make a point to have some sort of music performance, and say something along the lines of "music is at the heart of everything we do."
D) Again, the pricetag seems pretty insignificant to me since they're bringing along a fairly large and profitable hardware service.
Edited by PatchyThePirate - 5/15/14 at 10:57am