Beats by Dre

Monster Sues Beats and Founders Dre and Iovine

Beats By Dre
Monster, the co-designer of the original Beats by Dre headphones, is suing Beats Electronics and its co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, USA Today reports.
A lawsuit filed in Northern California this week says that Lee and Monster invented the technology behind the Beats By Dre headphones. Furthermore, the suit alleges that Dre and Iovine conspired to cut out Monster and its CEO Noel Lee’s involvement, and committed fraud in the process.
HTC invested $300 million in Beats in 2011 before Beats and Monster’s five-year manufacturing and distribution deal ended. In 2013, Iovine and Dre bought back the entirety of Beats, a year before Apple acquired the company for $3 billion.
The suit claims that Beats used its “change of control rights” to fraudulently get the headphones away from Monster. “Had the partnership expired on its own terms, there would have been no transfer of Monster’s ‘Beats By Dr. Dre’ product line.”
HTC and Beats board member Paul Wachter are among the defendants listed in the suit.
USA Today writes: “After severing ties with Monster, Beats was purchased by Apple for $3 billion. But as the Beats co-founders made millions, Monster lost millions from its investment in the rise of Beats, the suit charges. Had Lee retained his original 5% interest in Beats, his total stake in the Beats-Apple deal would have been worth over $100 million, the suit alleges.”
Monster and Lee are asking for punitive damages.
Related: NFL Bans Players from Wearing Beats by Dre Headphones

Axwell /\ Ingrosso Debut New Track in Beats by Dre Ad

Axwell /\ Ingrosso
“Something New,” Axwell /\ Ingrosso’s first single from their debut album, has arrived in a new commercial for Beats by Dre (watch below). The video features the EDM duo along with celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and others.
Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso are two-thirds of Swedish House Mafia. They signed with Universal Music in September and will release their album through Def Jam in 2015.
Download: Axwell /\ Ingrosso – Something New

Related: Swedish House Mafia Preview New Documentary

Inside the Partnership of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine
Some analysts have speculated that the reason behind Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Electronics wasn’t to acquire the brand itself, but rather its leaders, Dr. Dre and former Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine. The six-time Grammy-winning producer and industry heavyweight have been the driving force behind the company since founding it in 2008, and this summer, they launched an academy at the University of Southern California with the goal of inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an in-depth article about Dre and Iovine’s business relationship and what they’re hoping to achieve with the program, to which they donated $70 million. Here’s what we learned from the piece:
Iovine started from the bottom.

WJ: “Iovine was the head of Interscope Records for two and a half decades where he helped oversee the careers of U2, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani and the Black Eyed Peas. At 19 he got a job sweeping the floors at a Manhattan recording studio, and from there worked his way into a gig as a recording engineer for John Lennon. Within a few years, he was engineering albums for Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.”

Dre’s engineering on The Chronic is what initially impressed Iovine.

JI: “I wasn’t a fan of hip-hop … They were playing me hip-hop because Interscope was going to be in the hip-hop business, but it all sounded muddy to me. I’m a recording engineer—it just offended me sonically. Then Dre brought in his record, and it sounded as cool as Pink Floyd or Sgt. Pepper’s. I said, ‘Who mixed this?’ and he said, ‘Me.’ And I said, ‘No, no, but who engineered it?’ And he said, ‘Me!’ And I said, ‘OK, I’m getting into business with you.’”

Beats by Dre started with a chance run-in on the beach.

WSJ: “Iovine was in Malibu, at his friend David Geffen’s house, when he decided to go for a stroll. He happened upon Dr. Dre, who was out on the balcony of his own house nearby. Dre told him he’d been approached a few days earlier by an athletic company about doing a shoe line; his lawyer wanted him to do it, but Dre wasn’t sure. (‘I’m not into fashion,’ he says. ‘I wear the same s— every day.’) He asked Iovine for his thoughts. Iovine’s immortal response: ‘F— sneakers—let’s make speakers.’”

Their business relationship is built on mutual trust.

JI: “We just trust each other … He’s as good a producer and engineer as Michael Jordan is a basketball player. He has an incredible patience that I don’t. And he’s a good touchstone for me. Every time we start going off one way, he’ll say, ‘Nah, man—we’re getting corny.’”

Iovine thinks some tech companies are out of touch with culture.

JI: “We wanted to build a school that we feel is what the entertainment industry needs right now … There’s a new kid in town, and he’s brought up on an iPad from one and a half years old. But the problem with some of the companies up north [in Silicon Valley] is that they really are culturally inept. I’ve been shocked at the different species in Northern and Southern California—we don’t even speak the same language. The kid who’s going to have an advantage in the entertainment industry today is the kid who speaks both languages: technology and liberal arts. That’s what this school is about.”

Related: Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Explains Beats by Dre Acquisition

NFL Bans Players from Wearing Beats by Dre Headphones

Richard Sherman
The NFL has prohibited its players from wearing Beats by Dre headphones at games, practices, post-game interviews and any other league event where cameras are present.
Back in March, the NFL signed a long-term deal with rival headphones maker Bose which allows the company to put its logo on headphones worn by coaches.
“The NFL has longstanding policies that prohibit branded exposure on-field or during interviews unless authorized by the league. These policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today,” an NFL spokesperson said. “They are the NFL’s policies — not one of the league’s sponsors, Bose in this case. Bose is not involved in the enforcement of our policies. This is true for others on-field.”
According to Re/code, Beats by Dre dominates the premium headphone market with a 61 percent share, compared to Bose’s 22.
Over the last year, players such as Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman have signed endorsement deals with Beats by Dre and been featured in high-profile commercials.


Related: Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Explains Beats by Dre Acquisition

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Explains Beats by Dre Acquisition

During a recent interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was asked why he acquired Beats by Dre. In addition to wanting to work with the creative minds of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Cook said he saw value in their music subscription service, Beats Music.

“They [Beats by Dre] recognized that human curation was important in the subscription service — that the sequencing of songs that you listen to affect how you feel. It’s hard to describe, but you know when you feel it.”

Related: Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats for $3 Billion

Beats by Dre Sued Over Noise-cancelling Patents

Beats by Dre
Rival headphones manufacturer Bose is suing Beats by Dre for alleged copyright infringement, according to multiple sources. The lawsuit claims that Beats has infringed on five patents relating to active noise reduction (ANR) — its noise-cancelling technology.
“ANR is a technique to reduce unwanted noise by introducing a second sound source that destructively interferes with the unwanted noise,” explained Bose’s lawyer in documents filed with Delaware District Court.
The lawsuit comes two months after Apple announced it was buying Beats for $3 billion.
According to court documents, Bose was granted the rights to the inventions over a nine-year period ranging from 2004 to 2013. BBC News writes that “the company originally developed the technology for the US Air Force and US Army, before launching its first noise-cancelling headphones for consumers in 2000.”
Other headphone makers such as JVC, Sennheiser, and Sony use a similar feature but Bose’s director of public relations Carolyn Cinotti told BBC that “we don’t license our technology to other headphone manufacturers.”
Related: Beats by Dre President Defends Headphone Quality

Beats by Dre President Defends Headphone Quality

Beats by Dre
The quality of Beats by Dre’s ubiquitous headphones is a contentious topic in the DJ and producer communities. While there’s plenty of high-profile artists that can be seen sporting the headphones on a regular basis, others claim they lack quality.
During a recent visit to the UK, Beats president Luke Wood spoke exclusively with BBC Newsbeat to respond to comments that the headphones are too bass heavy:
“We didn’t go to build a reference headphone, something you build in the studio that is really a technical tool to hear when you are recording.”
He added, “If you look at Dre’s pedigree, Jimmy’s [Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine] pedigree, even my pedigree, we are all recording engineers.”

“What we did is build a headphone for playback. What does it sound like right when it is finished? And that is what we’ve accomplished.”

Wood also addressed rumors about the sockets on Apple products being changed to only take Beats by Dre headphones and what it’s like working with Dr. Dre:

“Having a chance to meet him, I can honestly say the only other artist that I feel the same way, that I have been fortunate to meet, is George Harrison.”

Read the full interview here.
Related: Beats by Dre Headphones Banned at World Cup

Beats by Dre Headphones Banned at World Cup

Beats by Dre’s headphones have been banned from the 2014 World Cup due to a licensing agreement between FIFA (the championship’s organizer) and Beats’ rival, Sony Electronics.

Soccer players are required to take off Beats headphones when they’re in World Cup stadiums for official matches and media events. Ironically, many of the sport’s biggest stars are fans of the company’s ubiquitous headphones and have been seen using them on a regular basis.

Some of the players were even featured in a recent short-film produced by Beats which has been seen by over 15 million people on YouTube.

Could the ban actually help strengthen Beats’ brand though? Former Apple and Google executive Ellen Petry told Reuters that it’s a possibility:

“When fans see World Cup athletes wearing Beats in their downtime, by choice, it has as much impact as seeing them lace their Adidas (boots) or sip a sponsored beverage. Maybe more, actually — Beats isn’t a sponsor, so the message is more authentic and credible.”

Related: Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats for $3 Billion

Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats for $3 Billion

Following weeks of speculation, Apple has officially announced that it’s purchasing Beats Electronics and its music streaming service Beats Music for $3 billion.
Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as executives, according to Billboard. There specific roles haven’t been been revealed though.
Rumors that Apple was in talks with Beats were first reported nearly three weeks ago. Since then, the industry has been waiting for an official statement from either company despite a celebratory video featuring Dre and Tyrese:

Many analysts believe that Apple is acquiring Beats in an effort to compete with music streaming services such as Spotify. While iTunes currently dominates the music-download market, streaming is considered the future by most industry experts and Apple hasn’t had an answer to it — until now.
Beats Music was launched in January and is said to have 200,000 subscribers. While their subscription numbers pale in comparison to Spotify’s 10 million, Apple’s database of more than 800 million credit cards could help make them a formidable competitor.
Written while listening to Doc Jnr’s Dr. Dre Mix