There have been a lot of headlines lately from financial analysts questioning Apple’s rumored acquisition, questioning the wisdom of it. My millennial son brought it up out of the blue. “Mom, can you believe Apple’s buying Beats? All my friends are talking about how insanely smart that is!” He then rattled off some music streaming buzzwords that were in a different language.
I politely listened, thinking—have any of those analysts thought about the acquisition from the vantage point of Apple’s market? A couple of writers have, including Slate’s Jordan Weissman, who pointed out in a recent article that Apple’s headphones need upgrading, and while they still dominate downloaded music, streaming music is rapidly growing while downloaded music is flat, and declining.
I have my own reasons for thinking this acquisition is smart. I love my Beats. As a frequent traveler they are a lifesaver. Anyone who’s on airplanes a lot knows about the crying babies, and those certain special voices that carry in a plane, doesn’t matter where you’re sitting. My headphones sure help there.
And then there’s, let’s call it Budget Airline X. There must be some magnetic pull that attracts crazy people to this airline. I had one sitting in my row last week. She was, maybe 25 years old. Once we had leveled off she starting screaming (in that certain special voice) “Stop kicking my seat!” “You’re kicking me in the back!” It would get quiet and she’d cry out “Ow! You’re doing it again!” My Beats were a great help to muffle the drama unfolding two seats down from me. Eventually though, I just had to look to see who the culprit behind her was.
The seat was empty.
Then I craned my neck and saw there was a small child, out like a light. His mother sat next to him and said there was no kicking going on as her child had been fast asleep the whole time. Which moved me to press the “call attendant” button. The crazy flyer was now crying and still screaming and the attendants moved her away from our row, and that of the imaginary offender.
Beats have a lot of value those analysts haven’t even thought about. But I’ll bet Apple has.