How to get ahead in headphones
The Monster CEO’s tie-up with Beats by Dre made cans the biggest music must-have since the iPod. He reckons they’re just getting started…
Insight by Monster’s Noel Lee
Monster is a 35-year-old company that did business for 30 years without headphones. We invented the Monster cables that musicians swear by today. We did a whole lot more besides.
Still, even though we’re now post-Dr Dre and making our own headphones, I would never underestimate what we did with Beats Electronics. It was an incredible meeting of circumstances that will never happen again.
At the time, music was mainly consumed from iTunes, with very little revenue for those that make it. People were buying singles instead of albums, so instead of a $20 CD purchase, it’s a $2.19 spend on iTunes.
So we were looking for the next big thing. Dre thought speakers, but I said, “Forget those, nobody wants big boxes anymore.” Home theatre really hadn’t taken hold. The timing was right for headphones. Bose, Sennheiser, Skullcandy – none of them had done it; the revolution was ready to take place. We had our tech, and my knowledge of audio, and wanted to ride headphones in a way no one had before.
Now, Beats CEOs Jimmy Iovine and Dre didn’t know anything about engineering