"Humanized algorithm that Apple couldn't reasonably recreate"
That is the only thing in your list that I have not touched upon.
Is it worth $3.2 billion? That is the question.
At least you finally found one angle that I hadn't mentioned. It took a while for you to answer the question.
That was what I had asked you to do after all.
Not just the algorithm (and not just for Iovine!) Apple can do an algorithm. It's all about music curation, by people who know music, and who have been working on the curation for over a year, with a dedicated staff of at least 50 engineers (algorithm?), and at least 100 music curators, managed by Iovine, Dre, and Trent (got info from the All Things D interview). This does not seem like something that can be easily reproduced by anyone else. This is why I think that buying beats would be a smart move, and a practical move, and why I've done a 180 on my initial, relexive opinion on this rumor. I think it's a little premature to think that Apple is making its first flippant purchase in its history.