NEW YORK —
It’s no surprise that Beats Electronics president/COO Luke Wood used a music metaphor to describe the company’s “amicable” split with Monster earlier this year.
“It’s like we were the Jackson 5,” he told TWICE last week, “and now we want to be Michael Jackson and make ‘Thriller.’”
The Beats by Dr. Dre line has dominated the headphones category since it launched, and the company is anxious to show what’s next as it heads down the path of becoming a completely freestanding company. Its split from Monster, which is being done in stages, will be completely finalized by Jan. 1, 2013. Wood shot down the idea that Beats will partner with another audio manufacturer in the near future. “Now that we’re autonomous, we’re going to relish the ability to have the ball and carry it as far as we can,” he said.
As the company focuses on bringing a “completely non-disruptive transition for vendors, retailers and consumers,” it is also making plans for new speakers and headphones scheduled to debut this fall and during International CES in January.
“We didn’t want to launch a lot of new product in the middle of a transition,” said Wood. “Now that I feel we’re successfully moving through the transition, CES is really our target. We’ve only begun to touch what the headphones business can be.”
Beats Electronics is also planning a massive promotional campaign centered around the new colors of its Solo headphone that will include broadcast, print and social-media components, and will begin around Labor Day for the back-toschool season.
Wood added that the company intends to continue its “evangelical approach to teaching people about audio again.” He described audio as once being the “bastard stepchild of consumer electronics,” and said the company plans to elevate audio to the status that high-definition TV has achieved.
“What we’re now doing with Beats is teaching them that sound is as important as the visual … As we teach them about sound and audio, they become addicted [and] they can’t go back.”