All Articles Tagged "beats"

Dr. Dre Says He’s Losing Billions To Beats Knock Offs

July 13th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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There are plenty of consumers who wouldn’t dare drop $300 on a pair of headphones but would like to have something like them for much less. China-based Beats knock-off brands are capitalizing off of the penny-pinchers. Dr. Dre, peeved by it all, slapped a lawsuit against these counterfeit companies, TMZ reports.

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Dre claims that he’s losing not thousands, not millions, but billions of dollars because of these Chinese businesses.  Bearing the famous “b” symbol on its merchandise, Beats impostors reportedly made $135 billion in revenue. And  of course, Dr. Dre is livid that he didn’t get one penny from these sales.

GizChina reported that Taobao, a Chinese online market, sells Beats knock-offs for as little as 19 Yuan — or $3!

“…[T]o make up for the obvious demand of these awesome sounding and great looking DJ headphones and ear buds, local Chinese factories have started to produce their own Shanzhai [knock off] versions,” GizChina wrote.

What’s interesting about these Chinese-counterfeited Beats by Dre headphones are that the packaging, down to the actual product, are damn-near identical to the authentic brand. If you’re not careful, you could easily purchase a fake for a premium price, especially if you’re buying from eBay or any other unauthorized dealer.

Sellers are buying inexpensive knock offs from China and selling them in America at a high price for profit.

“You buy cheap from me, you sell expensive in your home country, we all make a lot of money,” said a Chinese woman owns a wholesale company selling fake Beats headphones.

Well, she’s making “a lot of money” for now. Dedicated to protecting his trademark and luxury tech label, Dre’s comin’ for these knock-off businesses. The former N.W.A member is seeking to reap all the profits from these phony companies that have made a killing under his name.

“If the suit is won, this may bring in that last $200 million Dre needs to become hip hop’s first billionaire,” BET concludes.


Wise Investment! Early Beats Investor LeBron James To Earn $30 Million From Sale To Apple

June 17th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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"Lebron James pf"


Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine aren’t the only ones getting richer off their mega deal to sell Beats Electronics to Apple. LeBron James will rake in more than $30 million in cash and stocks from the deal, which should take the edge off that loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.

James made a deal with Beats way back in 2008 for a minor stake in the company in exchange for promoting the high-end headphones.

Sources tell ESPN he may now be making the biggest equity cash payout for a professional athlete through the sell of Beats. When you crunch the numbers this original deal was for just one percent of the company and he will make $11 million more than his Miami Heat salary, reports EURWeb.

According to the Beats website, the $149.95 headphones are perfect for athletics. “After years of breaking earbuds during his workouts, LeBron James teamed up with Dr. Dre in creating Powerbeats earphones: the only earphones designed to deliver premium sound on the court, in the gym, or on the streets,” says the site.

>There is also another pair of James-inspired ear buds on the way, Powerbeats2. These will run you about $200 and Beats claims they will survive six days of  hour-long workouts (or six hours) without having to be charged. They’re water-resistant and able to connect to any Bluetooth device within 30 feet.

“Ultimately, music and athletic performance are one, and through this partnership with Beats, we continue to push that envelope in every way possible,” James said in a statement.

Besides the Beats headphones, the market is prime, which according to NPD is used mainly during exercise. NPD data also shows that in March the market for headphones priced at more than $100 surpassed $1 billion in 2013. This was a 21 percent growth in a year.

“Nearly two-thirds of headphone users exercise while using their headphones and that number increases to three-quarters when we look at the 18-34-year-old segment,” NPD analyst Ben Arnold said told the Los Angeles Times in March. “From the growing digital fitness device market to ruggedized smartphones and sport headphones, fitness and exercise use-cases are a growing opportunity throughout the consumer electronics market.”

Update: Apple Announces Beats Deal For $3 Billion

May 28th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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From left to right: Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre, Eddy Cue. via BusinessWire

Update: It’s official. Apple is buying Beats for $3 billion with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine joining Apple to work with Eddy Cue, Apple’s executive in charge of Internet services. Writes The New York Times“The Beats brand will remain separate from Apple’s and Apple will offer both Beats’s streaming music service and premium headphones.” Apple’s iTunes service will continue alongside these Beats offerings.

The deal is $2.6 billion in cash and $400,000 in stock. This is Apple’s biggest acquisition deal ever.

“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Iovine in a statement about the deal.


When we first heard Apple was in talks to buy Beats Electronics, the company owned by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, reports made it seem as though the $3.2 billion deal was imminent. Nearly three weeks later and still, nothing.

Now The New York Post says the deal will happen next week and the price has dropped just a touch to $3 billion.

Some wondered if the leaked clip of Dre and Tyrese Gibson was holding up the deal. Actually, the Post says, it’s the fact that Beats Music, the company’s streaming service, only had 111,000 subscribers in March. Spotify, to contrast, has 10 million paying customers and another 30 million who use it for free. One of the reasons Apple is said to have set its sights on Beats was for the streaming music possibilities, which has become increasingly popular with fans. That could have led to a renegotiation of the price.

Still, Beats is pulling in $1.3 billion in sales of its Beats headphones, so there’s great value to bringing it into the Apple fold.

Separately but related, there’s the matter of whether or not Dre will become “hip hop’s first billionaire.” If this story is true and the company sells at $3 billion, Dre would receive $750 million from the deal, given his 25 percent ownership of the company. Deduct taxes and take into account that Forbes has placed his earnings from the company in the $275 million range for the last couple of years, and Dre falls shy of the billion-dollar mark. We’re sure he’ll be fine.

Apple is trying to get its mojo back after a slump in innovation that has pushed it out of the top spot for most valuable brand in the world. (Google now occupies that slot.) The company is planning a new iteration of the iPhone with a larger screen and possibly a new smart home that will be introduced at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 2. Dre and Iovine are expected to be there.

Beats, Rhymes & the Importance of Telling Our Own Stories

July 19th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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"charing ball"

So I’ve been following the dust-up around the much-anticipated “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest”, which is set to premiere nationwide this weekend.  For those who don’t know, the film, directed by actor turned filmmaker Michael Rapaport, documents A Tribe Called Quest and their legendary reunion for the 2008 Rock the Bells Tour.  The group, which is probably most known for The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauder albums, split in 1998 on the eve of their fifth and final album, “The Love Movement”.

Having forged a nearly two decade long run as one of the most innovative and influential hip hop bands of our era, who wouldn’t want to see the Queens NY collective Check The Rhyme just one more time?
Despite the enthusiasm around the film, the path to getting the doc to the big screen has not been smooth.  In fact, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to both applause and controversy as, prior to the screening,  Q-Tip took to Twitter to express his opposition.  “I am not in support of the A Tribe Called Quest documentary,” he wrote.  “The filmmaker should respect the band to the point of honoring the few requests that was made [about] the piece.”

Q-Tip later clarified his remarks – sort of – by saying that he, and fellow band members Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jabori White, were done wrong.  In particular, he took issue with being denied production credits (including executive producer credits), final edits to the trailer (which had been released on YouTube before the group could see it) and the film itself (scenes of which members claim were deleted  before the Sundance debut).   Q-Tip also accused Rapaport of engaging in shadiness and in a wildly-circulated interview with MTV News, revealed an e-mail that had been accidentally sent to him by the producers, which among other things stated: “First off let’s close the Billing Block and put it on the poster so they can’t get on that. Then we’ll f— them on everything else.”

Well it certainly looks like someone forgot industry rule number 4080…

Q-Tip ended the MTV News interview with this message of caution for other hip-hop emcees looking to have their story told: “Be in charge of your own stories, you hear me? Tell your own stories. We’re griots, look that up. We’re griots, man. We’ve gotta pass our own stories on. This is a part of our tradition, as African Americans predominantly.  Let’s tell our own stories.  We can let everybody come in and participate with us in this but don’t fall for the Hollywood.”

To some extent Q-Tip does have a point.  What few folks understand is how people gain and lose power through the way particular stories are told.  Every aspect of black life has been distorted by the mainstream because we have failed – by sheer ignorance or by circumstance – to keep an accurate archive of our perspective of the black experience.  Not saying that Rapaport couldn’t have captured the true essence of the group — or even that he doesn’t have a right to —  but he is still an outsider whose narrative and final cuts are based on his own familiarity with group members.  And you do have to wonder how this doc would have been different if told through the perspective of the band members.  Would they have emphasized the tumultuous relationship between lifelong friends Q-Tip and Phife, whose personal blow-up is captured?  Or would we see a more private account of what got the group together — their rise and ultimately their split?

Prior to the film’s limited screen release (in New York and LA), Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad interviewed with New York radio station Hot 97 and said that they have officially squashed their beef with Rapaport.   They urged fans to go see the flick.  Which got me wondering about the “controversy” itself.  I mean, I did get the issues of attribution, but what I didn’t get was that if Q-Tip believes he’s getting screwed out of credit, then why is he still telling people to go see the film?   While I agree with him on the whole, “we got to tell our own story” bit, he really needs to make up his mind about whether or not he is down. Because right now it’s sounding like fake controversy just to make sure this film opens in the top five.  And to that, I say, relax yourself, please settle down: it’s a film about A Tribe Called Quest. Why wouldn’t we go see it?

Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.

Beats, Rhymes & Strife

July 8th, 2011 - By TheEditor
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(NPR) — Rapper-producer Q-Tip has announced that he doesn’t like Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, actor turned director Michael Rapaport’s portrait of Tip’s former group. Yet Rapaport, a longtime Quest fan, clearly admires Tip. He’s just too forthright a storyteller to bury the tale of the quartet’s acrimonious unraveling.  For the uninitiated, A Tribe Called Quest was one of the 1990s’ most lauded hip-hop acts. At a time when gangsta rap was ascendant, the Queens-rooted quartet (along with such fellow travelers as De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers) had a sunnier, more playful outlook. The group also helped pioneer a jazz-based sound, favoring cool grooves and sinuous bass over the strident funk and rock loops of their neighborhood precursors, LL Cool J and Run-DMC. One of Quest’s biggest hits, “Can I Kick It?” was based on the distinctively sauntering bass line of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.”

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