Music Business

Tim Cook On Beats Music and Why Apple Paid $3.2 Billion: “I couldn’t sleep that night…”

Tim CookGuesting on the Charlie Rose show, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared why he wanted Apple to buy Beats, even with it's $3.2 billion price tag. Some of Cook's enthusiasm for the deal was about talent.  Jimmy Iovinne and Dr. Dre are “off the charts…creative geniuses,” says Cook; who also praised their branding abilities and deep connections to the music and artistic community.  

How Beats Music Closed The $3.2 Deal

"Some people think they’re all alike," said Cook of Beats vs. other subscription music services. "Well, let me tell you, I went into the thing sceptically. Not into the acquisition: into their service, because Jimmy had told me how great it was.” 

beats music logo“One night, I’m sitting playing with theirs versus some others," Cook continued, "and all of a sudden it dawns on me that when I listen to theirs for a while, I feel completely different. And the reason is: they recognised that human curation was important in the subscription service. The sequence of songs that you listen to affects how you feel.”

"I couldn’t sleep that night, so I was thinking ‘we need to do this’,” said Cook.

Since announcing last year, Beats has worked to differentiate itself by hiring and spotlighting experienced curators including music journalists, tastemakers and musician that act as musical guides.  Cook believes that makes Beats different.  But its also an easy to replicate  formula.  In fact Spotify, Rdio and other competitors are already adjusting their platforms to showcase curation. 

Here's a video that features most of Cook's comments on Beats.



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  1. By the way, Bruce — get your facts straight:
    -The deal was $2.9B, not $3.2B
    -Beats MUSIC was just an estimated $500M of the total deal value, the remainder for the hardware business.

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