Leaked Video of Dr. Dre in 2014 Almost Damaged the Apple and Beats Deal
Apple acquired Dr. Dre’s Beats line back in 2014. Since that time, Beats has been an intregal part of Apple’s audio line. However, according to Tripp Mickle’s book After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul (via iMore), the deal was in jeopardy at one point due to a leaked video of Dr. Dre.
According to the book, in 2014, Apple and Beats were securing negotiations prior to solidifying a deal. Apple, being the company of secrecy, deemed that no one in the know could divulge information about the deal. This includes Beats cofounder Dr. Dre. Though, a leaked video of Dr. Dre during this time could have put an end to the entire deal.
Dr. Dre is said to have appeared in a video alongside Fast and Furious actor and singer Tyrese Gibson. In the video, Gibson supposedly celebrates Dr. Dre becoming a billionaire and makes references to the Apple acquisition of Beats. Jimmy Iovine, Beats cofounder, received a call later with a notice that the video was accidentally posted to Facebook.
Apple CEO Tim Cook later sat down with Dr. Dre and Iovine in Cupertino to discuss the matter. Cook was apparently “disappointed.” However, Cook recognized how important the deal was to Apple, and was convinced acquiring Beats was the right business move.
He invited them into a conference room for a private conversation. Iovine was anxious and afraid that Cook was going to kill the deal. Instead of the anger and cursing that would have poured out of Jobs in a moment like that, Cook exuded calm. He told the music executives that he was disappointed and wished that Dre’s social media outburst hadn’t happened but said that the video hadn’t shaken his conviction that buying Beats was right for Apple.
Although the deal ultimately went through, Apple did appear to penalize Beats. The deal was closed for an estimated $200 million less than what was expected. However, it’s suggested that the lowered number of Beats Music subscribers played a role. However, Mickle’s book claims that the reduction was due to the leaked video.
Regardless, Beats has now been under the banner of Apple for nearly a decade. It’s provided a supplemental avenue for headphones and earbuds as an aside from AirPods.