(Pocket-lint) - Apple's acquisition of Beats could partly be an acqui-hire, it's claimed.
Billboard has reported that Apple will introduce Beats' co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as new company executives at WWDC 2014 in June. Citing unnamed people familiar with the acquisition talks, the website said Iovine will manage Apple's future music ambitions as well as partnerships with labels and publishers. There's no word yet on what Dre could do for the company.
According to several reports from last week and even a significant hint from Dre, Apple is in talks to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. It's not clear if Apple wants to acquire Beats mostly for its employees and talent, but a deal announcement is expected later this week. Iovine, chairman of Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records, and Dre, a hip-hop music producer, founded the company in 2008.
In just six years, Beats has created a popular line of expensive headphones, a music-streaming service called Beats Music, and an audio technology that it licenses to other companies, among many other things. And now, Apple reportedly wants to own all of that and further welcome Iovine and Dre into the fold as executives.
The new executive appointments could help Apple tackle the issue of dwindling download sales on iTunes, according to Billboard. In addition, many have speculated Apple wants to enter the subscription music streaming space. Such an endeavor would require hard-to-snag partnerships with labels and publishers. Luckily for Apple, Beats' co-founders have plenty of contacts and experience in that arena.
Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference will kick of on 2 June in San Francisco. It's a time when the company typically unveils new products and outlooks, and it also gives engineers and app developers a sneak peek at upcoming operating system developments.