Why are Apple buying Beats?

Apple have a long standing reputation for producing sleek products that are both uniquely stylish and ground breaking. So why are they interested in buying a brand that is known for making overly stated headphones?

In recent years Apple have brought us the iMac, iPod, iPhone & iPad. More recently they seem to have suffered a bit of a slow down when it comes to new, innovative products – certainly nothing especially outstanding for the last few years.

The announcement that they are looking to buy Beats could be viewed as a bit of a surprise by some. Especially when most commenters are talking about the potential for the earphones packaged with future iPhone releases. However, there is a little more to Beats than most of us in the UK are aware of.

Where Apple have succeeded, perhaps more than most of us realise, is with iTunes. Apple have transformed, and to a certain degree, saved the music industry single handed. Buying music has never been so easy or accessible before. iTunes is currently only a buy and download service with no streaming music solution.

In recent years while Apple have been slacking slightly, we have seen streaming music services like Stopify, Xbox music and Google Play music become mainstream & incredibly popular. The monthly subscription pricing model is now increasingly common throughout the tech world – but until this stage, Apple have nothing to offer.

In January this year (2014), Beats launched a streaming service in the USA – Beats Music. It is more likely that Apple are looking at this as the primary reason for buying Beats.

A point worth noting here as well, is that Beats Music in the USA offer a family subscription as well as a single person subscription. As far as i’m aware at the time of writing, no other streaming service offers a family subscription. If this is the case & Apple chooses to keep this pricing option – this could make big waves through the market.

Whether Apple choose to shoehorn this functionality into iTunes, or keep it as a separate entity, I think this could be their next big thing. Knowing Apple, you will only be able to use their service if you own an Apple device. If the family subscription is still available, it could also create a significant boost to their product range as families all want to use the same service.

When you combine this with Apple’s clever marketing…you know it’ll be a big deal.


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