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What Happened to beats by Dre | Apple’s Monopoly at its finest

What Happened to beats by Dre | Apple’s Monopoly at its finest

Beats by dre

How it all started.

Ever Since Beats by Dre was established back in 2005 by Dr Dre and Jimmy Lovine, it has always been more of a premium audio brand. It all started with a simple observation from Dr Dre. Dre noticed that the iPod sold for $499 yet the earphones that came with it were a mere $1. It bothered him since these earphones were of very poor quality and rumors have it that he described them as cheap equipment used to test whether sound was being produced.

This was due to the poor sound quality that the earphones were producing. Since he was an expert in this field, he felt a need to produce high-quality earphones that could project sound the way the producer intended. In 2006, he founded the brand Beats by Dre together with his partner, Jimmy Lovine.

Beats by dre

Beats by Dre headphones were well above average but they were definitely not the best in the market. However, there is one trick that this company used that made their brand a symbol of prestige globally. They used marketing to their own advantage. Nearly every celebrity at that time owned a pair of beats.

They used to make custom headphones for celebrities and ensured that they wore them especially in public. This brought good publicity to beats and everyone was dying to get a pair. Some of these celebrities include; LeBron James, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Zedd and David Guetta just to name a few.

LeBron James Wearing Beats

Some celebrities like Lady Gaga even had theirs encrusted with diamonds. Beats by Dre shouted luxury and this was the peak of the company’s success. In the 2008 Olympics, Beats by Dre offered each member of the US team a pair of beats headphones which contributed more to their good reputation.

Could things get any better for beats?

Kylie Jenner wearing beats

In fact, at the time, Beats was the most recommended audio brand globally and occupied 70% of the premium audio market share.Due to Beat’s success, every company wanted to associate themselves with the top dog and Beats in turn wanted to grow as a brand, so they entered in the software segment. First, they saw it fit to integrate themselves into devices through a program called Beats Audio. Beats Audio was an integrated program that was meant to improve the audio quality of certain devices.

They entered into a partnership with HP and HTC. All this was good publicity to Beats and the two companies, but there was more to Beats audio than just sound improvement. Beats Audio was more of an equalizer. Let me explain. When you turned on Beats Audio to a device which shipped with the program, all it did was higher the mids hence it made the audio sort of better as compared to when it was off. When Beats Audio was disabled, the opposite happened.

Beats by dre hp laptop

The mids were lowered giving you an impression of poor-quality Audio. But this marketing strategy worked as Beats had gathered a huge fanbase over the years.Things were looking good for Beats and they were about to get a whole lot better. In January 2014, Beats launched Beats music which was a subscription based streaming music service. It was the equivalent of Spotify today and people received it merrily.

The Downfall of Beats.

Beats by dre partnership with Apple

All this started way back in mid 2014 when Apple decided to acquire Beats for an astounding $3.2Biliion. At that time, it seemed like Beats was destined for greatness but little did they know it would be the beginning of their downfall. Apple had it all figured out and they wanted a share of the premium audio segment and to do so they had two options. One was to get ahead of their competition or two, simply buy them out.

Apple opted for the second option. There was no doubt that wireless headphones were destined to take over but very few people were aware. There was a time when Beats was presumed dead since there were no new products being produced as before. But this was only phase one of Apple’s plan.

The second phase that required a lot guts happened in 2016 when Apple released the Iphone 7 series with no headphone jack. Apple faced a lot of criticism from consumers and other competing companies like Samsung. It seemed like Apple was the only one who was focusing on the bigger picture since wireless earphones are all the rage these days. The second phase was not that pretty but it had to be done.

Airpods Pro

The third phase was the release of the first ever wireless earphones from Apple. Three months after releasing the Iphone 7 series, Apple released the first generation Airpods in December. There were mixed reactions at first but later every one started embracing them. Even the competition started making look a likes to the Airpods. They suddenly became a fashion statement and that was the beginning of Apple’s victory in the audio market.

The fourth phase was releasing Apple Music which was more or less a clone version of Beats Music. Since Apple had a tight fan base, Apple music was adapted and it is now the second largest music streaming service after Spotify. Apple was clearly ahead of the competition. During Beats’ dormancy Apple was dominating and people started forgetting about Beats as a brand.

Although Beats is still in existence, their fire to innovate was definitely extinguished by Apple. If you go to Apple’s website, you can purchase Beats products but they are not as popular as they were about a decade ago.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Nelly Njeri

    That was a really good read. I’d give this article 10/10. Very articulate

  2. Caroline Njeri

    I like Apple because they are always strategic, innovative, adaptable and efficient. This company was born to lead. I’ve enjoyed this article. It’s very informative.

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