First published on http://www.iol.co.za/
San Francisco – Apple is close to striking a deal with Dr. Dre.
In what would be the largest-ever purchase by the iPhone maker, Apple is in advanced talks to acquire headphone maker and music-streaming service Beats Electronics LLC for $3.2 billion (R33.2 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.
A deal for the Santa Monica, California-based company, which was founded by music-industry executive Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop artist Dr. Dre, would bolster Apple’s online music capabilities by giving it ownership of the Beats Music service that started earlier this year.
For $10 a month, subscribers get unlimited access to all of the songs in the service’s catalog through a smartphone, tablet or Web browser.
Music has long been one of the cornerstones of Apple’s business, with its iTunes store and the iPod music player that reignited the company’s growth more than a decade ago.
Yet digital-download sales fell for the first time ever last year as people turn to streaming services such as Spotify, Google’s YouTube and Pandora Media to listen to music, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“The age of digital downloads is basically over,” said Aram Sinnreich, a media professor at Rutgers University who studies the intersection of technology and music.