Apple’s $US3.2 billion purchase of Beats was not only unusual as Apple’s biggest acquisition ever, but also because of the entertaining way the news broke: through a Facebook video posted by R&B signer Tyrese.
On May 9, 2014, Tyrese posted a video from a music studio in which Beats cofounder Dr. Dre seemingly confirmed the rumoured multibillion-dollar deal, which had been reported by the Financial Times the day before.
“The first billionaire in hip-hop, right here from the motherf—ing West Coast, believe it,” Dre exulted in the video.
You can watch the now-deleted clip below:
Now, in “The Defiant Ones,” a new documentary on HBO, Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine said that he thought Dre’s video might cause Apple to pull out of the deal. Apple is a secretive company, and it might have walked away from the deal if it turned into a bidding war.
“We had gone for like six weeks without it leaking,” Iovine says in the documentary. “This thing has leaked, this thing is loud.”
“I had wanted to work with Apple, at that point, probably 10 years, maybe more than 10 years. I’m like, ‘how could this be possibly happening?’ So sure I thought the deal could blow,” Iovine continued.
Dre also regretted the video, which was filmed after a night of drinking and partying. “I was in the studio, excitement was in the room, you mix excitement with a f—ing fifth of alcohol, man, something terrible is bound to happen,” Dre said. “That is in the top three most embarrassing moments in my life.”
Ultimately, the deal did go through, and was announced later that month. “So what happened was, Apple stays true to who I always knew who they were, ignored all the noise, and made the deal,” Iovine said.
“The Defiant Ones” is a four-part series that airs Friday nights on HBO.