Apple has confirmed plans to buy Beats Electronics, the headphone makers owned by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre for $3bn.
News of the planned acquisition first broke earlier this month but was only confirmed today.
In addition to headphones, speakers and audio software, Beats operates a subscription streaming music service which will allow Apple to expand its music offering beyond its iTunes download service.
Record producer Iovine has worked with an array of stars, including B. B. King, The Pussy Cat Dolls, U2 and Bruce Springsteen.
His extensive experience and contacts in the music industry is likely to make it easier for Apple to secure the licensing deals necessary to develop its music services.
Both Iovine and Dre will join Apple where they’ll report to Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
“Music is such an important part of Apple’s DNA and always will be,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
“The addition of Beats will make our music lineup even better, from free streaming with iTunes Radio to a world-class subscription service in Beats, and of course buying music from the iTunes Store as customers have loved to do for years.”
“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
“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.”
“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Iovine. “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.”
As a result of the deal, Beats products will be offered around the world through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.