Apple Will Reportedly Shut Down Beats Music, Layoff Related Employees [u]

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Apple is rumoured to shut down Beats Music:

Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes. It’s not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s music service will be shut down or what Apple will do with streaming, but every source with knowledge of the situation that we talked to agreed Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music brand.

Hints the Beats Music brand may be gone? The lack of the app being preinstalled on iPhone 6 devices, plus the lack of any mention at the iPhone 6/Apple Watch event.

According to one source, they claim Apple may roll streaming into iTunes, while another says the company has plans to make some big music announcements in the first half of 2015. Also, one Beats Music employee told TechCrunch some teams on the non-technical side of the brand have been told to maintain “business as usual.”

Apple acquired Beats Music and Electronics for a monster $3 billion deal back in May, which many have suspected was to acquire the talent of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre for their connections to the music industry. CEO Tim Cook discussed the value of Iovine and Beats in his recent interview with Charlie Rose.

Could this really be the end of the Beats Music brand?

Update: Apple has provided a statement to Re/code saying this story is “not true”:

Tom Neumayr, Apple’s PR rep, says the TechCrunch story is “not true” but wouldn’t go beyond that.

I can elaborate a bit more, based on conversations with people familiar with Apple’s thinking: Apple won’t shutter the streaming service. It may, however, modify it over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand.

Re/code also says Apple did confirm the Beats brand may go away, but will stay in streaming music.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Shameer Mulji

    The brand maybe, but the service no. On-demand streaming, personalized radio, personal / human curation is the hallmark of Beats music. I doubt that’s going anywhere.

  • J. W.

    Apple dropping the Beats

  • the_thinktank

    just noticed macrumors has updated the story…..apparently, it’s not true.

  • We’ve updated our story with Apple saying it’s ‘not true’ and also confirming the brand may go away.

  • haha…literally

  • Exactly

  • Bob Smith

    Who cares, beats headphones suck for sound quality and accuracy. There I said it. Sorry to every 15 year old out there that thought thier shinny red cans were actually any good. 100 dollar set of senheisers will match or beat them in sound quality. Worst buisness move I’ve ever seen apple make. Hopefully it does just “go away”

  • ChrisShield5

    Well done sir.

  • ChrisShield5

    I’m not surprised. I don’t think they spent 3B just to drop the brand shortly afterward. I think they will slowly figure out what about the beats brand works and move those things into Apple products, while leaving the rest with the beats branding. Once they’ve filtered through the trash and taken their treasure, then they might drop the beats branding altogether.

    Apple is still a much stronger brand, so it makes sense to just re-brand it all Apple overtime.

  • BCEd

    I’ve been only allowed to stream one artist on iTunes Radio Canada to date: The Crickets