Apple is said to be negotiating to buy Beats Electronics, the headphone maker that also recently started a subscription music streaming service.
This is not a done deal yet, but it if goes ahead analysts said it could form the basis for an on-demand music service – something like Spotify – to go with Apple’s iRadio service and iTunes.
According to media reports the price could be as much as $3.2 billion dollars (2.3 billion euros) – three times the most recent valuation of Beats, which raised a few eyebrows in the financial world along with questions as to why Apple would pay that much.
It is particularly unusual as Apple is usually cash-conservative and has not made a billion-dollar acquisition in at least a decade, prefering to develop and design its products in-house.
Apple and Beats Electronics are not commenting on the reports.
Founded by rapper Dr. Dre and legendary music producer Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics is best known for its ‘Beats by Dr Dre’ line of trendy headphones.
The music service it launched this year has been praised for its slick design and human music curation, versus the computer-algorithms that determine playlists for most of its rivals.
Google and Amazon are also jockeying for position in music, looking at ways to make streaming profitable in an increasingly mobile environment.