With Apple having confirmed a $3 billion buyout of Beats, one company ruing its lost fortune is Monster, the audio specialist which helped develop the Beats brand.
Despite having brought Beats to life, providing much of the technology within Beats headphones and supplying considerable design, marketing and distribution support to the brand during its first five years of being, Monster stands to make nothing from the latest big-money takeover.
Having lost all connection to the Beats brand less than two years ago in a deal heavily skewed in Beats’ favour, Monster CEO Noel Lee is now after the recognition he believes his company deserves.
Although seemingly unconcerned by the lack of financial gain, Lee has admitted there is some level of disappointment at not being involved in the takeover, especially given how heavily Monster was involved in the development of the Beats brand.
Discussing his disconnect from the deal, Lee told us: “I would say that there was disappointment, obviously. If I could have participated more I could have got the Monster brand to participate more, but I don’t think that is the important thing for us.”
He added: “The important thing for us is to be recognised as the technology engine as we were Beats for the first five years. Beats has only been Beats for a year and a half. We essentially were Beats.”
Looking at how influential his company was in turning Beats into a brand ultimately worth $3 billion (£1.79bn), Lee stated: “We were involved in the distribution, the technology, most of the designs and the marketing and development of all these wonderful products which at the time were game changers.
“If I was to put a number on it, I would say we got 20 per cent of the recognition [we deserved]. 80 per cent of the public who are aware of Beats probably don’t know about Monster’s participation so I would love to get the remaining 80 per cent.”
While many would be furious at having pumped so much effort into a brand for relatively little financial gain, Lee appears to be looking at the positives.
“You could look at it as losing out on a large sum of money but Monster is not just headphones,” he said. “We were in business 30 years before we created the Beats products so we still have a company to run.
“We look at it as having had great success. Could we have asked for more percentage? Of course. Hindsight is 20-20 and had we known then what we know now, maybe I would have fought a little more for a higher percentage but we learned a lot and now we are on to our new phase of growth.”
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A sign of the man’s continued ambition, asked what he would have done differently in Monster’s dealings with Beats, Lee didn’t seemed too bothered by lost percentages or million dollar deals.
Instead, pursuing missed recognition he told us: “At the time we were doing it, I guess we didn’t promote the Monster brand as hard as we promoted the Beats brand. In retrospect we would have done a better job of promoting the Monster brand.
“The recognition would obviously help [moving forward], especially positive recognition.”
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