Beats Music is undoubtedly a big name in consumer electronics of that there is no question. It can be debated whether or not the actual product is worth the price consumers are paying for them, but to each their own. Apple purchased Beats Music for $3 billion dollars earlier this year and so far we have not heard what exact plans Apple has for such a large investment.
The future of Beats is still hanging on the proverbial Apple tree. Techcrunch reported yesterday that Apple’s new plan was to shut down Beats Music but the company has denied those reports – but Apple may re-brand Beats to suit it’s needs.
[Update: Apple has told TechCrunch that our report of Beats being shut down "is not true”, but sources familiar with the situation tell Re/code that Apple "may, however, modify [Beats Music] over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand.” This aligns with what my sources said, which is that the Beats Music brand will be shut down, but that it’s unclear what Apple wants to do in streaming music. It seems quite possible that the Beats Music product could be rolled into iTunes rather than being ‘shuttered’, but that’s semantics.
One of the things I’ve said time and again is that Apple does not like to dilute its brand, even with a company as large as Beats. While I don’t think Beats Music will be shut down, I do believe the reports of modifying the brand to better align itself with Apple’s vision ring true. The obvious golden goose for Apple is the streaming services and not so much the hardware (headphones and speakers). I can see Apple re-branding and assimilating Beats streaming services into iTunes Radio (possibly even renaming that) and tweaking the hardware side just slightly.
The bottom line is this: Apple doesn’t share its space with other brands, you either get assimilated into the current brand identity or you get stripped of all valuable assets and kicked to the curb. There’s certainly some layers Apple needs to deal with to optimize their $3 billion dollar investment. What do you think will happen with Beats Music?
Featured image modified from onogyqudys.sourceforge.net.