Beats Electronics LLC is a subsidiary of Apple Inc. that produces audio products. Headquartered in Culver City, California,the company was founded by music producer and rapper Dr. Dre and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine. The subsidiary’s product line is primarily focused on headphones and speakers. The company’s original product line was manufactured in partnership with the AV equipment company Monster Cable Products. Following the end of its contract with the company, Beats took further development of its products in-house.
In 2014, the company expanded into the online music market with the launch of a subscription-based streaming service, Beats Music. In 2011, NPD Group reported that Beats’ market share was 64% in the U.S. for headphones priced higher than $100, and the brand was valued at $1 billion in September 2013. For a period, the company was majority-owned by Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC. The company reduced its stake to 25% in 2012, and sold its remaining stake back to the company in 2013. Concurrently, Carlyle Group replaced HTC as a minority shareholder, alongside Dr. Dre and Iovine in late 2013. On August 1, 2014, Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in a cash and stock deal, the largest acquisition in Apple’s history.