Beats Co-Founders May Be Unveiled as Apple Execs at WWDC


According to people familiar with the matter, Apple may unveil Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as executives at the company’s June Worldwide Developers Conference. With more evidence popping up every day that Apple will indeed be acquiring the headphone maker and streaming music provider, it would make sense for the company to use WWDC as a stage to welcome Iovine and Dre to the company.

Apple is reportedly closing in on finishing the deal which entails Dre and Iovine selling the Beats brand to Apple for a decent $3.2 billion sum, and its announcement is expected soon. Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre are both expected to assume roles on Apple’s executive board, but there is not yet evidence to confirm that these roles even exist. “One person said Iovine would likely oversee all of Apple’s music strategy and handle relationships with labels and publishers,” writes Billboard.

Apple has felt pressure in relationships with music labels recently as paid iTunes downloads have taken a dip, and some analysts say that Apple’s quick push to acquire Beats represents nervousness about partially missing the music streaming train. Apple’s iTunes still serves as the world’s leading digital music store, but the company has had to propose drastic measures such as exclusive albums for download ahead of streaming services to help remedy continually falling sales numbers.

Notably, if Apple were to give Dr. Dre some stage time at WWDC, it wouldn’t be the first time. Dre, also known as Andre Young, took the stage about 10 years ago via video to personally congratulate Steve Jobs on the launch of the iTunes Store and the iPod. Beyond this, the acquisition is equally as tied to Iovine, who met with Steve Jobs to talk about a music service in 2003, and met with Tim Cook to talk about the Beats streaming service last year.

Reuters reports that the acquisition will be announced at some point within the week, and Apple’s WWDC is set to happen June 2-6. It looks like we’re in for a busy couple of months in many different respects. What do you think about Dr. Dre being in an Apple executive role?