Interscope Geffen A&M Records; Beats by Dre
The Music Man…
With Beats by Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and their team created a music (and fashion) market where one barely existed before, and it’s now buzzing so loudly that last year HTC reportedly dropped a cool $300 million for a 51% stake in the company. A crucial factor behind the product’s success is showmanship. It’s been treated like an artist, with showcases (sleek press conferences, a lavish pop-up store), savvy staffers (veteran label executive Luke Wood, hip-hop blogger Karen Civil) and endorsements for custom models (for Lil Wayne, LeBron James and others). Not least, they look cool as hell, and while opinions are divided on the sound, we can attest that the top-line Pro model sounds pretty awesome. The product is a microcosm of the Iovine magic touch, and he managed to do it while running a major-label group with a 7.9% market share last year, second behind Columbia Records, and making regular high-profile appearances on “American Idol.” More than a game? Clearly.
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