News: Jimmy Iovine On Dr. Dre's Beats, "He Can Be To Headphones What Michael Jordan Was To Sneakers"

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010 10:50AM

Written by Biz Jones

Interscope Records head Jimmy Iovine recently compared Dr. Dre's headphones series to Michael Jordan's successful sneaker line.

From Iovine's perspective, Dre has the ability to draw in large crowds of followers.

"This is different, but these days everything is different, period -- what we're doing with Beats, this is really exciting, it's really taking off," he explained in an interview. "[He] can be to headphones what Michael Jordan was to sneakers...I told him, 'You know speakers, not sneakers.' As we moved forward with it I also told him that he had to get it right with the headphones. It would be the difference between Air Jordans and George Foreman's grill. It took us two years to get them right, but when I heard I knew it was going to be big. It's just like listening to a hit record." (Los Angeles Times)

They also worked together to launch a series of retail in-store visits.

Best Buy is launching the venture, called Club Beats, in partnership with audio company Monster and Beats Electronics, an equipment company founded by hip-hop artist Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Club Beats will sell headphones and cables by both Monster and Beats and Best Buy will be putting the concept in 300 stores; seven locations will include bigger, more sophisticated areas that Best Buy is using to kick off the debut; a Miami kickoff will feature local DJs, a Richfield, Minn., event will include the hip-hop band LMFAO. To help promote the new Club Beats, Best Buy will host a series of events featuring appearances from top music artists including Lady Gaga, and Dr. Dre. (Biz Journals)

Iovine also worked with Dre to secure a line of producers to help work on their Hewlett-Packard ENVY series of laptops last fall.

In addition to Dr. Dre, Iovine noted that several of the industry's prominent producers -- including, Kanye West, Pharrell, Timbaland and Polow da Don -- helped HP engineers fine-tune the project. "We started this journey with the headphones to improve the transmission of sound between record makers and consumers," Iovine said during the press conference today. "What's out there is not representative of what you hear in the recording studio. As we went on this journey, we found that computers were in the way. Artists and producers want their sound repaired in digital audio. Computer companies charge $1,000 for computers but only spend 50 cents for speakers. With HP, we found a partner willing to take the step to improve the overall sound in the PC. This is for anyone who plays music." (Billboard Biz)

Prior details of the partnership made headlines last summer.

HP will kick-off a range of premium laptops, headphones and software that will come under the Beats By Dr. Dre brand umbrella. Consumers had previously accepted a degree of deterioration in sound quality in exchange for the speed, portability and convenience that digital brings to music. However, with mass broadband uptake, larger files can now be moved around online with relative ease and, as a result, consumers are demanding better audio quality from their downloads." (Music Week)

Check out a recent Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre interview down below:

For the latest gadgets, gear and giveaways, check out

blog comments powered by Disqus