I Haven’t Updated My iTunes Software Since 2011. That’s Why Apple Needs Beats


Apple is reportedly considering buying Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. The deal, if it comes to pass, is shocking for many reasons—because Beats is in the middle of an aggressive expansion of its own brand with a new on-demand streaming service; because Apple has historically shied away from big purchases; because CEO Tim Cook just said company isn’t trying to make acquisitions just to generate a lot of buzz. Whether or not the acquisition actually happens, the mere fact that it’s being considered illustrates the huge shift that has occurred in the digital music landscape over the last decade. Apple is no longer the bellwether for what is cool.

I remember unboxing my first iPod, a 20 GB white, fourth-generation one that I got in 2004. At the time, it was a revelation: I could dump my bulky CD booklet in favor of a pocket-sized device that held 20,000…

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