This morning Taiwanese electronics company HTC announced that it is making a massive $300 million investment into Beats By Dre, the headphone and loudspeaker brand created by rap music mogul Dr Dre and Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine. Beats By Dre will continue to operate independently but will now have the cash to help further advance research and development and expand the brand name globally. In the short term consumers can expect to see much better speakers and headphones being included with standard HTC mobile devices and tablet computers.
The most amazing part of this announcement is the windfall that Dr Dre himself is rumored to be receiving. For agreeing to lend his name and image to the brand it has been reported that his equity stake in the partnership was north of 50% which is leading many insiders to speculate that his take from today's HTC announcement is somewhere in the $150 – $175 million range! Which means Dr Dre's net worth has roughly doubled overnight.
In a statement Iovine said:
"The HTC and Beats by Dr. Dre partnership is an opportunity for two world-class companies to redefine the smartphone industry and define the future. For Beats by Dr. Dre, this represents a critical step in our continued mission to clean up the destruction of audio caused by the digital revolution and reengineer how sound is delivered, so the consumer feels the music the way that the artist intended."