Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monster Audio & Beats by Dre Split

The headphone collaboration between Monster Audio and Beats by Dre is no more. What most might consider one of the most successful collaborations of the consumer electronics industry in the last decade is over, but not before revolutionizing the headphone industry. Not surprisingly, the reason behind the split was a disagreement over profit sharing and the reasons for the line's success. Monster felt like the success was due to the great product and audio quality while Beats by Dre executives, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, thought it was due to the marketing, product placement, and name recognition. Earlier this week, Lee was asked if Monster would be willing to partner with another high-profile musician again and he said yes, but interestingly went onto say that "star power only takes you so far - the product itself has to be phenomenal." This seems to me like it's a slight dig at Dre and Jimmy, but maybe it's just me.

Regardless of who was right or wrong, we will now see what ways both companies turn. Monster Audio has already announced a number of new "Celebrity" headphones at the recent CES convention earlier this month in Las Vegas. As soon as I get all the information, I will be sure to write a full post about all of the new product announcements. Another reason why Monster Audio has decided to drop Beats Audio is their newest venture in the headphone world, SOL Republic. The son of Monster Audio President, Noel Lee, has created a new headphone maker earlier this year, so expect more product announcements out of Sol Republic now that Beats is out of the picture. Don't be surprised if SOL Republic announces a new line of headphones by a famous artist (they already have an endorsement deal with Steve Aoki). My money is on another famous DJ, but this is all speculation.

When asked about the split, Lee said, "We had a great run together. We couldn't have done it without Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre, but they have a different vision of what Beats wants to be, and we want to go onto our next phase of audio and headphones. It ran the course, and it's time for both of us companies to do our own thing."

As soon as I heard of the split, I got flashbacks to May, when 50 Cent announced he was cutting out Sleek Audio and would be creating his own audio line. Just like 50, it seems like Jimmy and Dre want full control of their business venture. 50 Cent bought a small audio company, Kono Audio, and developed his own audio company, SMS Audio. This way he has all the power in addition to all the risk. Even though Beats Audio is very different than 50 Cent's SMS Audio, it still always comes down to money, ego and control of the business.


Anonymous said...

Hiya, nice blog guys.

Not sure if this is up your street but are currently running a promo to win a pair of BEATS BY DR DRE STUDIO Headphones on their Facebook page :

Best wishes and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

It's name recognition that brings the consumer and then it's the product that sells itself. So both are correct.

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