Apple Redeploys Beats Music CEO as Head of iTunes Radio

by Matt Klassen on August 6, 2014

With the $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music now officially complete Apple has turned its attention towards redeploying its newest assets, the human ones at least. While no word on what rapper Dr. Dre’s role will be with the company, sources have hinted that Beats music subscription CEO Ian Rogers will now also oversee Apple’s struggling iTunes Radio project.

Now the appointment of Rogers doesn’t necessarily mean that Beats Music will be merged with the iTunes brand, for although they’re share some staff and resources they’ll stand as separate entities for now. The appointment of Rogers as the head of both, however, does seem to point to a future where the lines between Beats streaming music and iTunes become increasingly blurred, perhaps leading to the former being absorbed into the latter sometime down the road.

On its website Apple welcomed the Beats team with a short message: “Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we’re thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do,” the company wrote, and now that the Beats personnel are finding their place at Apple, we’ll see just what the Cupertino company’s plans are with its newest streaming music asset.

The announcement of Rogers’ appointment comes as part of a larger reshuffling effort as Apple attempts to find a place for Beats and its 700 full-time employees. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, approximately 200 Beats’ employees have either been redeployed in other fields within Apple or released with hefty severance to help them find other employment.

While it’s clear that the acquisition of Beats will give Apple another streaming music option, what remains unclear is why theCupertinoCompany would want another option. As I wrote before, even if Apple was interested in Beats’ flat-rate streaming music service, why spend $3 billion acquiring Beats when Apple could create its own version of the same thing for a fraction of the price?

Further, the acquisition of Beats is a radical departure from Apple’s usual modes operandi, that of acquiring small tech start-ups with useful or innovative assets, and abandoning that strategy for a company like Beats seems to almost defy logic, at least on the face of it, as its far too much money to spend on eliminating a minor competitor and given the seeming redundancy of products and services between the two companies I’m left to draw one of two conclusions: 1) Apple, being Apple, has some clandestine plan that involves an established player in the music business, perhaps something to do with wearables, or 2) Apple simply isn’t Apple anymore.

But in the end it’ll be interesting to see what Apple does with its new Beats acquisition, as perhaps it’ll offer the company the boost it sorely needs to compete in a streaming music market that, for all practical purposes, it has completely failed in so far.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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