At the time of writing, it’s not entirely clear if the deal is officially sealed (for what it’s worth, Sky News just said: “…could be about to buy”), but it sounds like it’s happening either way, and the story remains the same regardless.
Essentially Apple is swooping in to buy Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Electronics for a cool $3.2 billion.
The news is shared on the Instagram account of actor Tyrese Gibson (who?), with a picture of himself alongside the Good Doctor.
Tyrese (seriously, who?) writes: “Tonight HIP HOP CHANGED FOREVER AND I WAS THERE TO PAY MY RESPECTS!!!!!! Apple = Beats 3.2 BILLION!!!!!! The night everything changed!!!! #InspiredWhoa!!!!!”
Beats is of course famous – or perhaps more accurately notorious – for its giant headphones, with the colossal price tags and general lack of critical acclaim. As such, some would argue that Beats and Apple is a marriage made in heaven.
But the real draw here is surely the nascent Beats Music streaming service. Last year I scribbled Apple guys met Beats guy about music streaming, and indeed Jimmy Iovine is said to have discussed streaming with the late Steve Jobs as far back as 2003.
Apple has long been rumoured to be contemplating a music streaming service as iTunes sales take a double-digit hit in the age of Spotify et al. iTunes Radio is of course already available in some territories, but Apple's streaming service would – or will, with Beats – straddle iOS, Android, Windows Phone and the web.
Inevitably it'll all become clearer in the coming hours, days, weeks and months. In the meantime, let's all listen to The Chronic. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.