|Mon, August 15, 2011 at 4:38 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Dr. Dre has tripled his net worth in the past few days. Last week news emerged that HTC was buying a 51 percent stake in the headphone company Dre co-owns with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine for a startling $300 million, a deal that could eventually push the rapper's wealth north of half a billion according to Forbes' back-of-the-envelope calculations. Dr. Dre has been in the headphone business for less than four years, a little less than half the amount of time he's been working on his final album, Detox, due out next year. But Dr. Dre's not the only hip-hop artist inverting roles. The past few years have seen some of the industries biggest entainers become wildly wealthy off of everything except actually entertaining people. Related: Six Things We Learned from Gwyneth and Jay-Z's Interview
Sean Combs and Sean Jean - The notoriously entrepreneurial artist formerly known as Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and just Diddy made his name producing Top 40 smash hits with Notorious B.I.G., but he made his money manufacturing menswear. Launched in 1998, Diddy's Sean Jean is an award-winning clothing company that's helped Combs become the richest rapper in the world. Along with his record business and stake in Ciroc vodka, Sean John has helped Combs build a $475 million fortune. "My brand is rocket fuel. It would take this brand 10 years to get to where I can take it in one year," Combs told The New York Times in 2008. "I've gotten to the point where I don’t want to do just endorsements. I want ownership." Related: The Egyptian Film Score Jay-Z Sampled for 'Big Pimpin'
Jay-Z and Rocawear - Trailing Combs just slightly, the Brooklyn native is worth about $450 million, almost half of which can be traced back to Jay-Z's fashion line Rocawear. Jay-Z founded the company in 1999 with his Roc-a-fella Records co-founder Damon Dash and after several profitable years sold the brand $204 million in 2007, just a couple of months after an investigation found dog's hair in Rocawear faux fur coats. In the meantime, Jay-Z has built out his empire with ownership stakes in the 40/40 nightclub chain, Carol's Daughter beauty products, and J Hotels, a real estate venture. "My brands are an extension of me," Jay-Z said in a 2009 interview. "They're close to me. It's not like running GM, where there's no emotional attachment."
50 Cent and Vitaminwater - People love to make fun of 50 Cent for owning his own flavor of vitaminwater, but 50 Cent probably loves being rich after he netted an estimated $100 million after Coca-Cola acquired Vitaminwater's parent company glacéau for a record-breaking $4.1 billion in 2007. The rapper developed "Formula 50" with Vitaminwater in 2004 at the height of 50 Cent's rap fame. The company let Fiddy design the flavor, outline how he would promote it and take an undisclosed minority stake in the company. Asked about his relationship with Vitaminwater after the Coke purchase, Fiddy said, "I'm excited about it because they allow my input. I'm more closely associated with VitaminWater than anyone. I'm the Air Jordan of VitaminWater." Related: Kanye and Jay-Z Quit Beefing; Saverin's Wild Weekend
Rihanna and Totes - This one is pretty obvious. After her single "Umbrella" became a smash hit, Rihanna launched her own line of umbrellas with Totes. The umbrella line was just the first of many licensing deals for Barbados-born pop star, who would later promote CoverGirl, J.C. Penney, Nike, Secret, Nokia and the Barbados Tourism Authority. According t
|Thurs, August 11, 2011 at 9:05 PM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
HTC has invested a reported $300 million into a strategic partnership with Beats Electronics. Beats is best known for its Beats by Dr. Dre audio product. The aim of the partnership is to bring high-performance sound to HTC mobile devices.
HTC and Beats have been working to create high-quality mobile-audio experiences. The smartphone market will see the fruit of those labors in a new line of HTC devices integrated with Beats sound innovations this fall.
"Beats has found a unique way to harness popular culture in a manner that is unlike any other brand today," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. "It's an exciting brand that has been built around providing something very special, and we believe our strategic partnership will provide customers with unbeatable sound on HTC phones. We obsess over every detail of a consumer's mobile experience, and audio is a critical part of that experience."
Sound of Music
Chou isn't just blowing smoke. Beats is the brainchild of pioneering hip-hop artist and producer Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovinem, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. The duo set out to develop a new type of headphone to reproduce the full spectrum of sound that artists and producers hear in professional recording studios.
For Beats, it's a matter of art. "For Beats by Dr. Dre, this represents a critical step in our continued mission to clean up the destruction of audio caused by the digital revolution," Iovinem said, "and reengineer how sound is delivered so that the consumer feels the music the way that the artist intended."
HTC hopes partnering with Beats will deliver superior mobile music and sound experiences and drive its entry into the youth and accessories markets around the world. Analysts said it's a possibility, but reserved judgment until more is understood about how Beats will be incorporated into the product and how the new line of HTC devices are branded.
Sound of Success?
"There's certainly an opportunity for HTC to use Beats as a way of branding its devices and differentiating them in the market. The Beats brand is already recognized as a de facto standard for audio quality," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner.
"This was an expensive investment on HTC's part. But audio is a core factor in electronic devices, whether you are listening to music, watching movies, or just making phone calls. If HTC is able to get some demonstrable differences into its devices as a result of this partnership, it could definitely help them even though it is coming at a pretty high cost of investment."
Even as Apple continues its patent push against HTC, the Taiwanese handset maker is working hard to make a splash. Beyond the Beats deal, HTC also snapped up Dashwire in August to enhance its mobile backup and sync services. Follow Yahoo! News on Twitter, become a fan on Faceboo