With news of Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics breaking today, Billboard reached out to prominent executives and thinkers from across the music industry to get their thoughts on the deal.
Everyone’s vying to turn streaming into something that will be profitable, but for the winner, revenue may not come to a music service alone. Apple is fundamentally a lifestyle hardware company. Beats Electronics is a powerful lifestyle brand. The downturn in download sales means Apple has a brief window of opportunity to get into the streaming market with a service that can be easily integrated into their OS. It’s still a walled garden, but there may be more walls.
At the end of the day, it costs Apple relatively little to get in the game, because they have a lot of spare cash. What will be interesting to see is whether a successful, integrated hardware and streaming brand under the Apple umbrella will make any long-term difference in artist revenue. Casey Rae, Interim Executive Director, Future of Music Coalition