Beats by Dr. Dre to sever ties with Monster Cable
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Beats by Dr. Dre is parting ways with Monster Cable Products at year’s end, according to a report from Bloomberg Business Week.
Dr. Dre and co-founder Jimmy Iovine partnered with the company to release their line of high-end headphones in 2009. Together they have released a host of hot-selling headphones, and even teamed with other artists such as Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs for their own branded lines. Beats accounted for 53% of 2011’s $1-billion headphone market according to market research company NPD Group, surprising given the explosion of celeb-fronted headphones from Quincy Jones, RZA, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z and now 50 Cent.
At the end of the year, Beats’ five-year contact with Monster will end and Dre and Iovine have decided not to renew. Though both companies maintain the split is amicable, Bloomberg Business Week reported the two had been in disagreement over revenue share and who should take credit for the original concept.
Rumors that Iovine quickly dismissed to Pop & Hiss on Friday.
“It was always planned. It was always a five-year deal,” the chairman of Interscope/Geffen/AM Records said on his way back from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “It was a manufacturing distribution deal. We were with Monster for headphones and speakers. It was always a plan to turn into a freestanding company.”
Beats will retain the rights to the headphone’s distinct sound technology, design and brand. While Monster plots a Beats-free future, Beats is continuing to expand outside of pricey headphones. Dre and Iovine have now aligned Hewlett-Packard PCs and laptops, HTC smartphones and a line of Chrysler’s with the Beats brand.
Iovine promised there’s no “weirdness” between the two camps. “I don’t run my businesses like that. I just sort of do my own thing,” he said. “The growth of Beats has been so good. We are about the transmission of music, and sort of what we consider fixing the destruction of audio due to the digital revolution. This is important to us. We’re very proud of setting in motion. It’s important to Dre and I, and to people in the music business, for our sound to be transmitted properly.”
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy