Apple last week forked out a staggering $3 billion to acquire audio specialist Beats, a figure which has left many questioning the Cupertino-based company’s motives.
While Beats’ global brand identity and dominant footing within the £100-plus headphone market are sure to have been contributing factors, Monster CEO Noel Lee has suggested he believes Beats Music could have been key to the decision.
“To me it can’t just be about the headphone business,” Lee said speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews. “It has to be about the whole Beats package which will include Jimmy’s insights and Beats Music.”
Although revealing he was ‘surprised’ by the value attributed to Beats, Lee believes Apple will have very sound method to its seeming madness.
“Everybody’s guessing why it would be worth that sort of money,” he told us. “I would say that if Beats wasn’t worth it, Apple wouldn’t have paid that amount of money.
He added: “Is a Ferrari worth the price of a Ferrari or is a Rolls Royce worth the price of a Rolls Royce? Other than the financial value, from a strategic standpoint it is anyone’s guess what Beats looks like [to Apple].”
It is not just the valuation that has surprised Lee. The Monster CEO – who helped bring Beats to market and supported the brand during its first five years of rapid growth – suggested that Apple was an ‘unlikely’ suitor for the headphone maker, despite Iovine recently stating “I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple.”
“As far Apple goes, this was very much a surprise… but I would say it was a pleasant surprise,” Lee stated.
“Today, with technology companies – so you look at Google and Nest – there are all these unlikely partnerships and everything is open.”
He added: “I had the same surprise that everybody had. It is such an incredible valuation and I felt very proud that we were the founders of that company and started it with Dre and Jimmy.
“We built the company up to be where it could reach that immense value. Even though we are not part of it anymore, it gives us a lot of hope of what we can aspire to post Beats.”
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