Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Headphone "Empire"? Get Real!

Headphones with a loud bass and sponsored by a rapper are the foundation of an "Empire" we are told.

The media loves to sell us stories, and in several magazines recently, I have read about "The Beats Empire" which we are told encompasses a new headphone design as well as a recording conglomerate and other audio equipment.

I smell an IPO on the horizon.

Beats Electronics LLC is presently a closely-held company.   But hype like this generally leads to only one thing - an IPO.

Wait for it.

The problem with this "empire" is that it is founded on a technology that is very old and unprotectable.   The makers of the headphones discovered that ear buds don't really produce good sound (imagine that) and if you want more bass, you have to use a more traditional headphone design.  So the "old school" headphones are back, re-imagined for a new generation that never owned a pair of KOSS Pro-4AA's.

And as such, other manufacturers are entering this "space" with headphones of their own - sponsored by rap stars of their own.

But of course, like with Apple products, they don't have the distinctive logo and cache that the kids all want to have.

Another fad is born.

All I can say is this:  After seeing so many articles about "beats" headphones, usually with cheerleading headines, something is up.  Nothing happens by accident in our media-saturated society.

So, wait for it.  You will hear, in about six months or so, about how "Beats Electronics" is going public with a big IPO offering on the NASDAQ (symbol: BEATZ  or something like that) and all the pundits and CNN Money will say what a great deal and how a company that makes headphones will have a "market cap" of 20 Billion Dollars.

Just wait for it.....

UPDATE MAY 2014:  Apparently Apple has decided to buy Beats.  I knew something was up.

Some wag summarized the business with this image, which sort of sums it up:

People never seem to tire of overpaying for junk, so long as it has the correct logo on it.


  1. Another "Beats Empire" sighting:

    Note how all the articles refer to it as the "Beats EMPIRE" as if they are all reading from the same press release.

    Beats By Dre: The Secrets Behind a Headphone Empire | Billboard‎
    Nov 19, 2010 - About three years ago, Jimmy Iovine decided to team with legendary hip-hop performer/producer Dr. Dre and audiophile audiovisual hardware ...
    Dr Dre built headphones empire that paid $110million last year ...‎
    Daily Mail
    Sep 5, 2012 - His 'Beats by Dr Dre' premium headphones have become seemingly ubiquitous. The red 'b' logo is an iconic, making them a must-have ...
    dre the secrets behind a headphone empire empire flooring - IPRA‎
    Sep 5, 2012 Dr Dre has built a headphones empire that paid him $110million last year Ubiquitous: The iconic 'b' of the Beats by Dr Dre headphones are ...
    empire brands headphones High-End Headphone Brands‎
    empire brands headphon High-End Headphone BrandsesWicked Audio - Qualit Headphone Brand Namesy headphones built for an ... cheap beats by dr.dre.
    Living Stingy: Headphone "Empire"? Get Real!‎
    22 hours ago - The media loves to sell us stories, and in several magazines recently, I have read about "The Beats Empire" which we are told encompasses a ...
    dre the secrets behind a headphone empire – monster beats ...‎
    I (inaudible) difficult market conditions to present ITG with opportunities to deepen partnership within the Canadian brokerage community through technology ...
    Dr. Dre Expands Headphone Empire With Diddybeats - The Boombox‎
    May 25, 2010 - Sean “Diddy” Combs has teamed up with Dr. Dre to make quality ear bud headphones for MP3 players, iPhones, iTouch and many smart ...

  2. Of course, also there will be a class-action lawsuit by people who have hearing loss from headphones that blast their ears with bass.

    Again, predictable. Wait for it... 3.... 2.... 1... Litigate!

  3. Well, I knew SOMETHING was up. The latest news is this:

    "But late Thursday, reports surfaced that a $3.2 billion deal was in the works for Apple to scoop up Beats Electronics, the world's most popular maker of headphones and, more recently, the company behind a highly regarded music-streaming service."

    Wow, $3.2 Billion for headphones. Apple has some money to burn!

  4. See:

    Apple paid $3B for a brand name, not technology, it seems.


Sorry, Comments have been disabled due to the large amount of SPAM and TROLLING as well as GROOMING comments. Thanks for reading, though.

NOTE: Blogger says below that "only members may comment" - however comments have been disabled and I have no idea how to make someone a "member". Sorry!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.