News: Jimmy Iovine On Beats By Dre/Monster Split, "We've Grown So Fast We Have To Be Nimble"

Saturday, Jan 14, 2012 11:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine has stepped forward to clear the air on reports claiming popular Beats By Dre headphones line has parted ways with longtime manufacturer Monster Cable.

Confirming the hype is real, Iovine said Dr. Dre's successful line is only focused on getting better.

"You're only as good as your weakest link in the ecosystem of sound, of audio," Iovine told Billboard.biz shortly after touching down at LAX on Friday. "In the music industry, we have lost an entire generation to bad sound...We want PC makers to have better audio, because these things are used as home stereos by a lot of people and that makes it suck." Iovine says there's no bad blood between Beats and Monster, and in fact just saw Monster CEO Noel Lee in Vegas Thursday night. "It was cool, it was social," Iovine said. "We had a few business things that you have when you work with a guy for five years. But we've grown so fast we have to be nimble, to control our own destiny. It was always structured that way." (Billboard Biz)

Revealing Beats will act as its own supplier following the Monster split, Iovine is optimistic about what the future has in store.

"We are purely on a mission to fix audio for every record company for every artist around the world. We have to turn this thing around and we're starting to," he said. "I'm happy that everyone else is now jumping in on culture and audio. If anything should be said about this, it's that. The impact that we have had on moving audio forward is that we're taking it out of a downward spiral. When was the last time you heard a kid say, 'I wanna get some Bose for Christmas?'" (Billboard Biz)

Details of the amicable break-up began circulating online late this week.

In a Las Vegas hotel a few days before the start of the Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 10, Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine takes out an iPad and swipes through photos of celebrities wearing headphones from Beats Electronics, the company he co-owns with rapper Dr. Dre. Nowhere to be found among the photos is Noel Lee, the chief executive of Monster Cable Products, which has manufactured the headphones under exclusive license since their debut in 2009. The partnership between Beats and Monster, an electronics company best known for expensive stereo cables, has been an unmitigated success. Its products captured 53 percent of the $1 billion annual headphone market last year, according to researcher NPD Group. Now the partnership is coming to an end. Beats has opted not to renew its five-year contract with Monster when it ends late this year. (Business Week)

Initial reporting suggested complications over financial matters caused the separation.

While both companies say the separation is amicable, the relationship turned sour over financial terms, according to two anonymous sources. The reason? Disagreements on which side deserves the most credit for the line's success. But Beats is ready to go off on its own. The company's sound technology is already in many computers made by Hewlett-Packard, the Chrysler 300 S sedan, and smartphones created by HTC. Beats also wants to expand into TVs and specialized audio gear for athletes. (XXL Mag)

Check out some recent Beats By Dre footage below:

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