Beats By Dre has become a huge brand in the past couple of years, and no doubt they owe a lot of their success to headphone manufacturer Monster. In addition to their Monster partnership, Beats had also licensed the technology to companies HP and HTC – and both companies also have a huge stake in the Beats By Dre brand. Now the whole arrangement is in question as the question of who will be manufacturing Beats headphones has arisen in the wake of the news that Monster and Beats will not be renewing their contract.
What does this mean for the future of Beats headphones? And will this news give competing products such as Soul by Ludacris or SMS Audio (By 50 Cent) an edge in the market? Time will tell. Below is an excerpt of the original article from The Verge
Sources told Business Week that the split happened because of a disagreement over (what else?) money and credit, with each company believing it deserved more of both.
Monster, for its part, is going to move ahead and attempt to (re)build a headphone empire based on the Monster brand. That’s the short term plan. The long term plan isn’t clear but one fairly obvious move would be to merge with or buy out SOL Republic, a headphone company founded by Kevin Lee who happens to be son of Monster founder Noel Lee. Lee the younger, despite running his competing headphone brand, has said that he would be “honored’ to take over the leading role of Monster someday, adding “Cut me open, I’m a monster and will always be a monster.” Given Monster’s mixed brand image (especially amongst anybody who know about cables), a partnership with SOL Republic would make a lot of sense.
Beats also has a murky future. The company will surely continue to license its brand out, but who will make headphones is unclear. It just so happens to be majority owned by HTC and HTC just so happens to be a manufacturer of consumer electronics. Even if HTC and Beats don’t decide to go down that road, you can be sure that given the amount of money and marketshare that Beats has managed to snatch up, they’ll find a way to ensure that there are many many more Beats-branded headphones to come.
Who could Beats By Dre possibly partner with next?