According to Billboard, Apple is experiencing a serious case of pre-marital cold feet over its union with Dr Dre’s Beats. The firm is apparently furious about the leak and subsequent media frenzy about the deal.
It was a deal that, honestly, didn’t make much sense to those who watch technology firms. Apple is an innovative, technologically advanced behemoth with more money than most world governments. Beats is a headphone brand popular with fashionable kids, but lacking in any major innovation itself.
It was rumoured that Apple was interested in Beats because it has music streaming rights that Apple can’t secure, and that the headphone business was a nice aside, but not the main event. However you look at it, and whatever Apple was getting, it was unlikely to be worth $3.2 billion.
Billboard also says that Apple is very conservative, and that the rap world’s crass obsession with money, and talking about money in public, really put its executives off. The video with Dre and Tyrese was apparently too much and Apple staff “near imploded with outrage” when it was discovered by the world, and the media, on Facebook. Honestly, who can blame them. It might be okay to talk about how much money you’ve got in rap, but in the rest of the civilised world that’s still considered fairly tasteless.
Speculating further, it’s hard to know how far the deal was when it was announced. It’s possible that it was in its infancy when Dre started celebrating being the first “rap billionaire” and that Apple, rightly, found the disclosure of the deal to be annoying – perhaps even a breach of the contract.
However you look at it, the silence from both camps is hardly encouraging. If Apple was keen to go ahead, surely it would have announced the deal by now and moved on. The fact it has not should give anyone pause for thought. Let’s just hope Dre hasn’t bought too much stuff he can’t return, or he might go from the world’s richest rapper, to the rapper with the world’s biggest credit card debt.
Read more: Opinion: Five reasons Apple might buy Beats