Tim Cook interviews offer more details on Beats acquisition

In addition to giving comments for the press release and writing a memo to employees, Tim Cook apparently invited a handful of high profile journalists to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters today to talk about the just-announced Beats acquisition.

Cook spoke with reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times and other publications this afternoon on the Beats buyout. And we’ve rounded up some of the more interesting tidbits from each interview, below…

From the New York Times:

In an interview here at Apple’s headquarters, Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, repeatedly emphasized the talent that Dr. Dre and Mr. Iovine would bring to Apple. He also praised the Beats music service, which has people create playlists for people to listen to.

“These guys are really unique,” Mr. Cook said. “It’s like finding the precise grain of sand on the beach. They’re rare and very hard to find.” […]

Mr. Cook called the deal a “no-brainer.” He said that Apple had bought 27 companies since last year, but that did not mean Apple had to buy those companies.

“Could Eddy’s team have built a subscription service? Of course,” he said. “We could’ve built those 27 other things ourselves, too. You don’t build everything yourself. It’s not one thing that excites us here. It’s the people. It’s the service.”

And from the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Iovine, a longtime friend of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, said the two men’s titles would simply be “Jimmy and Dre.” They will work with both Apple’s electronics and music-streaming divisions, spending as much time at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., campus as necessary, while serving more broadly to bridge the cultural divide between technology and entertainment industries. 

“The ugly truth is that there is such a Berlin Wall between Silicon Valley and L.A.,” said Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in an interview. “The two don’t respect each other, don’t understand each other.

“We think these guys have a very rare talent,” Mr. Cook continued. “We love the subscription service that they built—we think it’s the first one that really got it right.

From the Financial Times:

“It’s all about music,” Mr Cook told the FT at an interview in the company’s Cupertino headquarters, adding that Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine, the music producer, and Dr Dre, the hip-hop legend were “kindred spirits”. Mr Iovine and Dr Dre will join Apple as part of the deal.

“We’ve known them a long time,” Mr Cook said. “We’ve gone from dating to going steady . . . now we’re getting married.”

Mr Cook stressed the significance to the deal of Beats’ streaming service. Beats launched its subscription service in January with an emphasis on personal music “curation”, rather than on playlists that are selected by using algorithms.

“We’ve got a streaming service that we believe is the first to get it right,” Mr Cook told the FT. “They had the insight that human curation was very important . . . we think they’ve done an A plus job.”

And from Recode:

Because Apple likes the businesses Beats has already built, and wants to make new stuff with the help of its employees, says CEO Tim Cook. “We could build about anything that you could dream of. But that’s not the question,” he said in an interview with Re/code. “The thing that Beats provides us is a head start, and it provides us with incredible people, kindred spirits.” […]

Apple says the deal will close by the end of its fiscal year, which means by the end of September. It says the deal will be accretive in its next fiscal year. But Cook says the economics of the deal are secondary to the potential it generates for Apple’s roadmap: “The instant that this deal is approved, we can begin working on the future together. And I believe that that future is better than anything either company could build on its own.” 

The Financial Times first reported that Apple was looking to acquire Beats Electronics on May 8. For those who haven’t been following the story closely over the past three weeks, you can find all of our coverage on the Apple-Beats acquisition here.