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Apple buys Dr Dre’s Beats for $3bn as company returns to music industry



Long-awaited deal is the largest in Apple’s history, and has analysts speculating on company’s future in music streaming

Dr. Dre wearing Beats headphones
Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine will join Apple as part of the acquisition deal. Photograph: Adam Hunger/Reuters

Apple on Wednesday confirmed its long-awaited deal to buy headphone-maker Beats Electronics for $3bn. With the purchase, the largest acquisition in its history, Apple is also bringing on a hip-hop artist and entrepreneur who recently bragged about the riches he hoped to score in the deal.

Two Beats co-founders – artist-entrepreneur Dr Dre, who called himself “the first billionaire in hip-hop”, and record industry executive Jimmy Iovine – will join Apple as part of the agreement.

For three weeks, since the Financial Times first reported that the two companies were in talks, speculation has raged among the tech intelligentsia over the two strange bedfellows: Apple, with its diverse platform of products, and Beats, which is currently known mainly for its headphones and speakers.

Curiosity about the strategy sent Wall Street analysts into the realm of gossip in trying to explain the deal. Five days ago, Nomura research analysts quoted a rival maker of audio-visual equipment, AV Concepts, speculating that the real value of Beats was only $1bn when investment firm Carlyle Group bought a stake in it a year ago. AV suggested to Nomura that “Apple’s objective of this deal should be Beats’ new music streaming service, which competes with Spotify and Pandora,” according to a Nomura note to clients dated 23 May.

Apple’s iTunes, once the dominant force in paid music downloads, has become more of a window-shopping venue. RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani pointed recently to Billboard statistics estimating that only “1-2% of consumers hit ‘download/buy’” when listening to iTunes Radio.

Subscription-based music is dominating among consumers, Daryanani told clients on 9 May, pointing to statistics from music-industry group IFPI that showed subscription-based music revenues were $1.1bn in 2013 – up 50% – while downloads fell 2% to $3.9bn, their first decline in history.

The size and scale of the deal may reflect Apple’s determination to make a splash. The company has struggled to show investors and the public that it can innovate without Steve Jobs, with no significant new products announced since the iPad several years ago.

The company has seen its stock price fall and attracted unwanted attention from activist shareholders including David Einhorn and Carl Icahn, who’ve none-too-gently suggested that Apple should make better use of its approximately $150bn hoard of cash.

While Apple has responded to the investor complaints by returning cash to its shareholders and splitting its stock, the company has struggled to prove it can continue to innovate and, in the words of Steve Jobs, tell the consumer what he wants.

The Beats acquisition addresses the issue of innovation, to some extent, as Apple is, in addition to the company itself, buying two executives who know the music industry as well as anyone. As RBC’s Daryanani wrote earlier this month, “another potential from a deal could be that Jimmy Lovine could help run AAPL’s iTunes/ music strategy, which has been challenged in the recent quarters. He was one of the first industry executives to anticipate the download business’s decline and advocate for subscription and streaming services as music’s future.”

In an interview Wednesday with Re/Code, Cook called Iovine and his team “creative souls, kindred spirits”.

In a statement about the purchase, Apple, perhaps trying to remind investors and consumers of its once-magical touch, made reference to the birth of iTunes, which transformed the company when it launched.

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” company CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.


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OnePlus is is getting into a new line of business: making TVs. Best known for its phones, China’s OnePlus also has a small catalog of really good accessories like wireless earphonesand surprisingly awesome backpacks, though nothing as complex or expensive as a television set. In announcing the news on the OnePlus online forums, company chief Pete Lau describes it as “the first step in building a connected human experience.”

Every hardware manufacturer is now looking intently at ways to monetize the smart home space. Samsung and Huawei recently announced smart speakers, Apple and Google already have the HomePod and Google Home, respectively, and Microsoft and Sony are old incumbents with their Xbox and PlayStation consoles. OnePlus has decided to make its entry point into this market the TV itself, which has always been at the center of home entertainment, though often with the help of other connected devices. Reading Lau’s teaser announcement, the OnePlus TV — which so far only has a project name, no timeline or specs have been revealed — will serve as the connectivity hub for OnePlus’ future vision of the smart home.

The OnePlus smart TV will be developed by a new division within OnePlus, led by Pete Lau himself. Still at the earliest stages of development, OnePlus is currently seeking input from its fans, as it often does, about what their priorities with a future smart TV will be.

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The Summit, organized by Dedalus Global, gathers innovators, investors, policy makers and other key stakeholders in the Fintech sector to discuss technologies transforming finance on the continent, debate regulatory policies, compare best practices, and forge new ventures
LAGOS, Nigeria, September 17, 2018/ — Africa’s premier fintech event, the Africa Fintech Summit, ( will be held for the first time in Lagos, Nigeria, onNovember 8-9, 2018. This event comes on the heels of the earlier edition in Washington D.C. which featured leading policy makers, c-suite business executives, start-ups, and investors.

The Summit, organized by Dedalus Global, gathers innovators, investors, policy makers and other key stakeholders in the Fintech sector to discuss technologies transforming finance on the continent, debate regulatory policies, compare best practices, and forge new ventures.

Speaking on the decision to bring the Summit to Lagos, the Chairman of the Summit, Leland Rice, said, “Lagos is an ideal host city; it’s an epicenter of Africa’s fintech revolution and the driving force behind the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit. The successes of companies such as Paga, Flutterwave,, and Paystack have strategically positioned Lagos as the destination of choice for investors.”

“The first edition of the Summit in D.C. was a launch pad for several milestone fintech deals struck among its delegates in the months after the event. We plan to build on these successes in Lagos, with a focus on bringing innovators and policy makers together to move the needle on fintech regulation and bringing founders and investors together to facilitate further capital raises,” added Leland.

The two-day event will feature investor missions from the US, UK, and UAE, an Alpha Expo featuring the most exciting startups and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, a half-day blockchain masterclass, and an awards ceremony.

Reacting to the decision to host the Summit in Lagos, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technology, Lanre Osibona, stated, “This reflects the progress Nigeria is making in the areas of technology and financial services. The event is very important as it comes at the heels of the Vice President Osinbajo’s trip to Silicon Valley to promote Nigeria’s tech sector. We look forward to collaborating with the organizing committee and to a successful event in Lagos.”

In similar vein, Tayo Oviosu, the founder of Paga—a payment company that recently raised $10 million in Series B2 funding—said that “the Africa Fintech Summit in Washington D.C. provided valuable insights into the fintech space and connected me with key players in the industry. I look forward to the Lagos edition.”

Speakers lined up for the event include Chief Economist of PwC Nigeria, Dr. Andrew S. Nevin; Managing General Partner of EchoVC, Eghosa Omoigui; CEO of Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie; Founder of Flutterwave, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji; and CEO of PayStack, Shola Akinlade, whose company recently raised $8 million Series A funding

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Dedalus Global.

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For more information, please contact:
Ridwan Sorunke
Directory of Communications, AFTS
+234 (0) 8037885760
+1 2023166726

About Dedalus Global

Dedalus Global ( is an investment and strategy advisory firm focusing on emerging markets and emerging technologies. With networks throughout Africa and the Middle East, we leverage granular market knowledge to drive innovation, accelerate capital deployment, and create value for our clients and the economies where they operate.

About Africa Fintech Summit (AFTS)

The Africa Fintech Summit ( is a biannual event that brings together leading disruptors, tech and finance professionals, regulators, and investors from around the globe to debate policies, compare best practices, and forge Africa-focused ventures. AFTS leverages the growth of the fintech sector in Africa to bring key stakeholders to discuss the technologies transforming finance on the continent.

To learn more about AFTS, please visit

View a recap from the AFTS Washington:

Dedalus Global

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Amazon is said to be prepping an ad-supported streaming video service; it’ll be available to folks who own any of the company’s Fire TV streaming dongles and set-top boxes, reports The Information.

It’ll be separate from Prime Video, which offers a range of licensed shows and movies, as well original content produced by Amazon, to people who are subscribed to Prime.

Amazon's latest streaming device is the Fire TV Cube
Credit: Amazon
Amazon’s latest streaming device is the Fire TV Cube

Do you like good gadgets?

Those sweet cool gadgets?

Oh, yeah

The idea behind this upcoming service, which is dubbed Free Dive, is to help Amazon bring in more revenue through advertising. Ads presently account for a small fraction – about $2 billion out of more than $200 billion – of its annual revenue, but they offer higher margins than retail, and are one of Amazon’s fastest growing earners company-wide.

To that end, the company’s been selling ad space on its site, and is slated to run ads during live sporting events on Prime Video. It also turned off ad-free viewing on Twitch – its game video streaming service – for Prime subscribers earlier this month.

Free Dive could give Amazon a chance to rival Roku, which offers a similar ad-supported streaming service for owners of its devices and is expected to reach 59 million users by the end of 2018. Roku also made its ‘Channel’ service available via the web earlier this month to folks in the US, so you don’t need the company’s hardware to access it. It’ll be interesting to see if Amazon follows suit – and how it plays its cards with customers across the globe, especially in cost-conscious markets like India, where it’s expanding its media offerings.

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