Billboard: Beats By Dre: The Secrets Behind a Headphone Empir
4 years ago
I was at the Apple store today and was amazed at the number of high-end headphones they carried.
About three years ago, Iovine decided to do something about this, teaming with legendary hip-hop performer/producer Dr. Dre and audiophile audiovisual hardware firm Monster Cable to create a line of headphones called Beats by Dre. The idea was to apply all the elements that go into making a hit record to the business of selling headphones-great sound, fashion sense and star power-and in doing so bring the focus back to quality over convenience.
"I felt it was the weakest link," Iovine says. "With a bad file and a bad-sounding computer, you have at least a shot at pumping the emotion back with a good pair of headphones."
Today, Beats by Dre is a success, on track to sell more than 1.3 million devices this year, according to Iovine, which would more than double last year's sales. Although its unit sales volume doesn't crack the top five headphone brands as tracked by NPD Group, its dollar share ranks fourth at 9%-behind market leader Sony at 23%, upstart Skullcandy in second at 14% and audiophile favorite Bose at 12%.
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