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Beats me: Everyone posits a theory on Apple's $3B deal

Gregg Keizer | June 2, 2014
Apple made it official Wednesday that it would acquire Beats Entertainment, but even after weeks of speculation, pundits still can't decide whether the deal is a smart move.

Those three things, as Dawson and others have categorized them, are headphones (Beats Electronics), streaming music (Beats Music), and new talent and an invigorating brand (Iovine and Dre, Beats' demographics).

In Apple's eyes, the whole of Beats was greater than the sum of its parts. Because all three pieces of Beats fit Apple, not just one or even two, it was, said Dawson, "a good strategic match."

Following the analysis of this deal has been more fun than Apple's provided in a long time. Not because no one's getting it right or everyone's irrational — ultimately, only Apple knows why it bought Beats and it may not yet know how it will earn back the billions — but because it's anarchic, muddled and argumentative.

Like a good mystery. But this one has not a room full of suspects, but one crammed with detectives, all squabbling about the motive and bickering about the likeliest culprit.

"The next few years will be interesting to watch to see the fruit that comes from this deal," Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies wrote Wednesday on Techpinions.

No one needs to wait that long. It's interesting to watch now.


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