News: Dr. Dre "Beats" The Competition W/ $300 Mil Mega Deal

Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 3:15PM

Written by Biz Jones

Music mogul Dr. Dre's popular Beats By Dre headphones have sparked the interest of smartphone supplier HTC and landed the company a $300 million investment.

Details of the mega deal were unveiled Thursday (August 11).

The partnership, announced on Thursday, will lead to a line of HTC devices integrated with Beats "sound innovations", according to a statement from the company. The devices will be available this fall. Beats Electronics is a developer of high-end headphones, which claim to reproduce the sounds heard in professional recording studios. The company also helped build an audio system for Hewlett-Packard's ENVY laptop series. HTC is investing $300 million for a majority stake in Beats, which also has Universal Music Group as a stakeholder, according to media reports. (PC World)

Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine has confirmed the deal.

"The marriage of these two companies is very, very good. We are very good for each other," says Jimmy Iovine, the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records and co-founder of Beats By Dr. Dre with rapper/producer Dr. Dre. "With HTC's innovation, technology and leadership, we feel we can really compete with anybody in this area." (USA Today)

Prior to the deal finalizing, HTC head Peter Chou said he hoped the Beats brand would increase his brand's popularity.

"Audio is key to us right now," said Mr. Chou. "It's our belief that a good sound experience is key when using a mobile phone." Mr. Chou also said that working with Beats would help the company stand out among rivals, which include Apple, Samsung and Motorola. (New York Times)

Earlier this year, Iovine compared Dre's successful headphones line to former NBA star Michael Jordan's iconic sneaker brand.

"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)

Check out Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre down below:

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