After months of misguided chatter, it's a move that now makes sense. That's because Apple's deal for Beats Electronics changes everything. It could not only render Pandora (P) extinct, it puts Apple in pole position to dominant every single aspect of the digital music landscape, not the least of which is data and all it can spawn. Better late than never, given that, up until now, Apple failed to innovate in a post-iTunes Store world. But now, Apple's here and, clearly, it means business.
In some respects, Apple's acting as savior for Beats Music. As an offshoot of Beats Electronics, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to burn the cash and absorb the losses necessary to execute. (For the record, I speculated that Beats Music would require a buyout back on April 22 and argued that much-needed financial breathing room was a key component of the deal with Apple two weeks ago. Billboard just got around to regurgitating that thought trajectory after it become apparent last week).
Apple could -- and probably should -- do something similar for Twitter. Come in and catch what is an extraordinarily useful platform before CEO Dick Costolo and the pressures of being a public company drive into the ground.
Taken as one -- so much of what Apple's doing these days smacks of a company that wants to dominate and do the right thing at the same time. See, for example, Apple's commercial about the type of world it hopes to help create and leave behind:
So where does Twitter fit in as Apple and Beats put their plans in motion? Page Two ...
Just as Apple can make money at the same time it acts as a steward of the environment, Apple can make money as it helps strengthen a music industry it almost singlehandedly bruised and battered.
That's a key, if not the key component of this deal for Beats that's all about music -- to dominate every corner of the digital music landscape and reinvigorate the music industrial complex by building dynamic one-stop shop platforms for artists to connect with their fans and leveraging the power of the data music fans yield. That's where Twitter comes in.
For background on what Twitter's doing with respect to music go HERE, HERE and HERE. Read them all because they're important. And the rest of the media will start reporting on what's contained in each of those HERES after it has become obvious that it's not only material, but critical. But I'm telling you about it now because the plans Apple has for and in conjunction with the team at Beats Music meshes seamlessly with the things Twitter is doing and is about to with its music-focused users and real-time and historical music music preference data.
Throw an acquisition that brings venues and live concerts into the mix -- such as the ultra-exciting Ticketfly -- and everything I've been thought trajectorying (my word) on comes together crystal clear. (So clear Billboard might do a story on it after it becomes obvious!).
While it might not and probably doesn't have to be, Twitter could form the next rung in a ladder that represents one of the most exciting times ever at Apple. Apple does a favor for Twitter and the rest of us who love Twitter by keeping it alive. Twitter will no longer have to worry about its bottom line. Apple can subsidize Twitter just like it will Beats. This naturally unleashes the inherent power of the platform. And, in what has always been Apple fashion, it helps build out a powerful ecosystem that does a whole bunch of important things, not the least of which is help sell hardware.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.