By Rob Markman
Beats by Dr. Dre is going solo. On Thursday Business Week reported that Dr. Dre and Interscope Chairman Jimmy Iovine will part ways with Monster Cable, the company that they partnered with to release their ubiquitous line of high-end headphones in 2009. At the end of the year Beats Electronics’ five-year contact with Monster will end and Dre and Iovine have decided not to renew. Both companies are maintaining that the split is an amicable one.
Beats by Dr. Dre set a new standard in the headphone business, selling designer headphones at high price points and making a ton of dough along the way. Business Week reports that last year Beats products captured 53 percent of the $1 billion annual headphone market. Once the split is official Beats will retain the rights to the sound technology, design and the brand that they develop in conjunction with Monster.
Monster maintains that they will be fine without Dre and Iovine. “We’re competing with ourselves,” Monster chief executive Noel Lee said of the eventual competition he will face with the company he’s helped to create. “We can be the Apple of the headphones space, with or without Beats.”
Beats however doesn’t seem content with just the headphone market. Already the company has placed the sound technology in computers (Hewlett-Packard), cars (the Chrysler 300 S sedan) and in HTC smartphones. “We have very big ambitions for Beats beyond headphones,” Iovine said to Business Week. “Music has got to succeed on the phone or else the record industry will never thrive.”
What do you think of the Beats by Dr. Dre, Monster Cable split? Tell us in the comments!