An Apple veteran will take over the Beats headphones enterprise

An Apple veteran will take over the Beats headphones enterprise

Oliver Schusser will now helm Beats, together with Apple Music and Worldwide Content material.


Apple is altering leaders at Beats, the premium headphone and earphone maker it acquired in 2014 for $three billion. Longtime president Luke Wooden is exiting and veteran Apple exec Oliver Schusser, who heads up Apple Music and Worldwide Content material, is taking on on the finish of this month.

Apple hasn’t publicly introduced the management change, however Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vp of Web Software program and Providers, informed Apple staff in regards to the transition through electronic mail in current weeks. A Beats spokesperson confirmed to CNET that Schusser will lead Beats after Wooden’s departure on April 30. Schusser may even proceed to run Apple Music and Worldwide Content material, reporting to Cue. The consolidation is a homecoming of types for Apple Music, which was constructed on the spine of the sooner Beats Music streaming service.

The transfer has been within the works for some time, Cue mentioned in his observe to staff: “Within the final 12 months, Luke Wooden informed me about his need to do one thing new. I appreciated the heads up in order that it allowed us to plan for this transition.”

Learn extra: Greatest noise-canceling headphones of 2020

Although Wooden wasn’t a founding father of Beats — the corporate was began in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine — he was concerned with the corporate since its early days, formally becoming a member of in 2011. (Iovine retired from Apple in 2018, in keeping with The New York Occasions.) In the meantime, Schusser has been with Apple for over 15 years, increase Apple’s worldwide content material operations earlier than additionally taking the reins at Apple Music. Cue famous that “Since taking over the Apple Music enterprise just a little over a 12 months in the past, Apple Music has achieved regular progress underneath Oliver’s management. He is obsessed with music and the Beats model. He is equally obsessed with constructing a powerful, collaborative tradition along with his crew.”

Cue wrote that he was delicate to creating a administration change in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, remarking that “the timing of the announcement is not supreme.” Nonetheless, the perfect factor for Beats is “to maintain the enterprise transferring ahead,” he mentioned, affirming that Apple stays “dedicated to the Beats model and the significance of sustaining its position firmly within the music portfolio.” 

Beats’ Powerbeats Professional have been a success with shoppers. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Schusser takes over as Apple and Beats work round a singular dynamic. The headphone maker has launched eight new merchandise since becoming a member of Apple, lots of which value north of $200 (Cue referred to as them “world-class merchandise which have fully reworked the Beats portfolio”). However in that point, Apple has jumped into the headphone fray underneath its personal model, basically altering the audio business with its deal with true wi-fi headphones. Very similar to different hit merchandise, such because the iPhone or iPad, the corporate’s AirPods and AirPods Professional weren’t the primary within the class, however they’re simply the most profitable. In keeping with Technique Analytics, almost 60 million AirPods have been bought in 2019, accounting for 50 % of gross sales within the wi-fi headphone market.

Collaborating with Apple’s engineering crew, Beats final 12 months had a success with its Powerbeats Professional, a sportier model of the AirPods that provide higher sound, longer battery life and a safer match for a lot of customers. And just some weeks in the past, Beats launched the fourth-generation Powerbeats, that are basically the Powerbeats Professional with a wire between them.

Apple does not escape gross sales of its headphones, together with them in a class referred to as Wearables, Residence and Equipment in its earnings report for the quarter that wrapped up on the finish of December 2019. However that class, which additionally consists of the Apple Watch, had gross sales of $10 billion in that quarter, the primary of 2020, making it the third largest class for income behind the highest moneymaker, the iPhone, and providers, which embrace all the pieces from Apple Music to Apple’s reduce from app gross sales. 

Apple could also be increasing its headphone enterprise past earbuds. There are rumors that the corporate is transferring nearer to releasing a premium, over-ear noise-canceling headphone to compete with well-liked fashions from Bose, Sony and even Beats’ 2-year-old Studio3 Wi-fi. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Apple is engaged on two variations of full-size noise-canceling headphones — a premium and a sports activities model — that’ll have simply detachable ear pads customers can change with a wide range of kinds, just like swapping bands on Apple Watch fashions. 

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