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Although he believes most technology companies are "culturally inept," Iovine said he believes Apple will empower Beats to realize its goals of improving the sound of digital music and creating playlists tailored for each subscriber.

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"It's a game changer because Jimmy is that kind of guy who can change a game," Morris said. "I am not saying he is Steve Jobs, but he is a guy with new ideas and he really knows how to build the bridge between music and technology."

such as Pandora and Spotify has been reducing sales of songs and albums, a business that iTunes has dominated for the past decade. sales of downloaded Mens Polo Shirt Uk songs slipped 1 percent last year to $2.8 billion while streaming music revenue surged 39 percent to $1.4 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Dre was more sedate Wednesday than he was in a celebratory video posted online declaring him as hip hop's first billionaire after news of the Apple talks leaked earlier this month. "To be able to do something that could potentially change the world, I'm thrilled."

The price consists of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in Apple stock that will vest over an unspecified time period. The deal is expected to close before October.

"It's hard to understand why Apple would have to spend $3 billion on a nascent streaming service and a line of bass heavy headphones," Gillett said.

point in the deal, though the headphone line also is expected to continue growing, too.

"Apple suddenly has regained its cool," said Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, who was one of the first recording executives to embrace iTunes at Iovine's urging more than a decade ago.

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ITunes Radio has 40 million listeners and will continue as a free service with ads while Beats Music will try to tap into the more than 800 million accounts to sell more subscriptions to its customized service. Beats Music has more than 250,000 subscribers, Cook said.

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CUPERTINO, Calif. Apple is striking a new chord with a $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, a headphone and music streaming specialist that also brings the swagger of rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine.

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Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett says Apple would have been better off developing its own headphones in house and expanding into music subscriptions through iTunes.

That's well below the more than 10 million paying customers that Spotify's streaming service boasts.

With $1.1 billion in revenue last year, Beats is already making money and will boost Apple's earnings once the new fiscal year begins in October, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview.

Morris, who considers Iovine to be his best friend, believes Cook is making a smart move that will give Apple even more credibility in the music industry.

younger adults while trying to remain a leader in digital music an industry that looks much different than when Apple reshaped the scene with the 2001 debut of the iPod.

"Culturally, Beats is the complete opposite of Apple," Kane said. "It's known for being loud and bold and in your face. It doesn't fit with Apple's understated, discerning brand."

"This is not a big company to us," Iovine said. "We can roller skate in the halls here. Dre and I have been working together for 22 years. We are not about to go somewhere where we are going to fall."

Apple is counting on the Beats acquisition to boost its cachet with teenagers and Golf Polo Shirts Wholesale Canada

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The purchase marks Apple CEO Tim Cook's biggest strategic break from the way the Cupertino, Calif., company was led under co founder Steve Jobs, who died in October 2011. Jobs favored smaller acquisitions and didn't believe subscription music plans would be popular. Before Beats, Apple's biggest acquisition had been its $400 million purchase of NeXt Computer, a company that Jobs founded after being ousted from Apple in the 1980s.

But some analysts question whether Beats will be a good fit for Apple, which makes most of its money selling hardware such as iPhones and iPads.

Wednesday's announcement comes nearly three weeks after deal negotiations were leaked to the media. It's by far the most expensive acquisition in Apple's 38 year history, a price that the company is paying to counter a threat posed to its iTunes store.

"We have known these guys forever," Cook said of Iovine and Dre. "We've dated, we've gone steady and now we are getting married. This relationship started a decade ago, so we know there is an incredible cultural fit. These two guys have a very rare set of skills. It's like finding a particular grain of sand on the beach. It's that rare."

"To complete our dream, we needed a company like (Apple)," Iovine said in an interview. "We couldn't finish this on our own."

´╗┐Apple hopes to lift street cred with

Having visited Apple on a regular basis since he first met Jobs more than a decade ago, Iovine said he has no qualms about joining Apple.

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Although Apple broke into streaming with the launch of iTunes Radio last September, the service has not been as popular or as lucrative as the company expected, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Beats was founded in 2008 by Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and Iovine, a longtime recording industry executive who is stepping down as chairman of Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A Records to join Apple. It now dominates the luxury headphone market. Its equipment also has been a big seller in Apple's stores. market for headphones priced above $100, according to NPD Group.

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Iovine, 61, and Dre, 49, will both become key executives in Apple's music divisions, though Cook said their roles haven't been determined yet. Cook indicated Beats' music streaming service was the main selling Fred Perry Plain White Polo

Cook said he never considered what Jobs would have thought about the Beats' acquisition during the negotiations. Jobs "told me to do what was right," Cook said. "And I am 100 percent certain this is what is right. This is one of those things that we will look back upon and say it was meant to be."

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