Reuters is reporting that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine held discussions about the music streaming industry in what could be evidence of a possible collaboration.
Famed for its popular range of headphones and audio accessories, Beats announced details of its ‘Daisy’ service in January, promising to “bring an emotional connection back to the act of music discovery”. News of a discussion with Cook is significant — since Apple is rumored to be considering a streaming service of its own — but the multiple sources cited by Reuters were unable to provide specific details of the meeting, other than that it was “informational” and “covered a broad range of music-related topics”.
Iovine has previously admitted that he regularly pitched the idea of a music service to former CEO Steve Jobs, and it could be that Cook was interested to hear details of Daisy, and, in particular, how Beats plans to differentiate its soon-to-launch service from industry leaders like Spotify and Pandora. While there is also the possibility that the talks were a primary stage to a potential partnership or distribution deal.
As well as founding Beats with rapper Dr Dre, Iovine is a music mogul — heading up Interscope-Geffen-A&M — and he enjoys strong connections within the industry. Beats already has an alliance with HTC — which has seen its audio integrated into some of the Taiwanese firm’s phones — but any potential tie-in with Apple would massively increase its visibility and market presence.
Rumors have suggested Apple is keen to explore the possibility of introducing a streaming service to compliment its iTunes store. Certainly the Beats brand is strong (and hip) enough that a tie-in with Apple could bring benefits to both sides.
News of the Cook-Iovine meeting comes after The Verge reported that the Daisy service is set to be flushed with $60 million in new funding, led by billionaire mogul Len Blavatnik.
The funding is now confirmed and it has allowed Daisy to spin out into its own entity. The service is slated to launch in late 2013.
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