A brief history of Beats, Apple’s $3-billion acquisition

Apple has agreed to purchase Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion.
(Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

The Beats story is one with many turns that began less than a decade ago and led to a big payoff this week for co-founders Jimmy Iovine, a music mogul, and hip-hop legend Dr. Dre.

Beats Electronics is born, launches line of headphones

Iovine and Dre team up to start an electronics company in 2006. The pair then go into a partnership with Monster Inc. in 2007 to create a line of headphones. The company’s first headphone model, Beats by Dre Studio, comes out in 2008.


HTC buys 50.1% of Beats Electronics; Monster deal ends

Iovine and Dre agree to sell a majority stake of their company to Taiwanese phone maker HTC in 2011 for $309 million. Now backed by HTC, Beats decides not to renew its partnership with Monster in 2012. Beats launches its first products without Monster, the Beats Executive headphones and the Beats Pill speaker, in October 2012.

Beats buys back HTC stake

In July 2012, Beats pays $150 million to buy back half of the stake it sold to HTC. HTC sells its remaining share of the company back in September 2013 for $265 million.

Beats Electronics buys MOG, launches Beats Music

In the summer of 2012, Beats acquires music-streaming company MOG Inc. in a deal reportedly worth less than $10 million. MOG becomes the foundation for Beats Music, a music-streaming service launched by Iovine and Dre in January 2014. Beats Music is believed to have about 200,000 subscribers.

Purchased by Apple

Apple announces it will pay $3 billion for Beats Electronics and Beats Music. As part of the deal, Dre and Iovine will join Apple. The tech giant expects the deal to close later this year.