Dr Dre Beats headphone is the most desirable in the world
And they said there was no money left in the music business. Dr Dre, the architect of the West Coast gangsta rap sound of G-Funk, has been revealed as the biggest earner in hip-hop with an income of £70 m in the past 12 months and he hasn’t released an album since 1999.
Headphones are the reasons for Dre’s latest prosperity. The kind of bulky aural accessory that many thought had become redundant a decade ago when Apple was encouraging iPod users to listen through the dinkiest of ear buds has been made immensely covetable, thanks to the cool conveyed by Dr Dre.
Six years ago, Dre and his long-time music partner, Jimmy Iovine, came up with the idea of a headphones line called Beats by Dr Dre, which arrived on the market in 2008. In those two years, Dre worked intensely on honing the product with industrial designer Robert Brunner, who had preceded Jonathan Ive in making Apple a byword for desirable consumer electronics gadgetry. In no time at all, Dr Dre Beats had seized almost 10 per cent of the headphones market and, earlier this year, Dre and Iovine sold 51 per cent of their Beats Electronics company to the Taiwanese technology company HTC for a whopping £190 m.
The attraction to consumer was not just the sleek design and zipped carrying case. It was also the distinctive “b” logo that encouraged users to wear their cans in pubblic and show fellow travellers just how serious they were about there music. The phones dropped a hint that the wearer might just be someone musically famous-a rapper or a producer perhaps. This was also the sell from Beats Electronics. Dr Dre’ pitch was that “people aren’t hearing all the music. With Beats, people are going to hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way they should: the way I do”.