Oliver Schusser, who leads Apple Music, appears set to gain oversight of Beats hardware after Luke Wood exits the subsidiary at the end of April. Since there’s a lot of shared technology between Apple and Beats, the Cupertino-based company sees the transition as an opportunity to merge audio-related hardware and software under the same leadership. Soon, Schusser will direct both Apple and Beats in the music industry.
In an email, Apple’s Eddy Cue notified employees of the transition. He confirmed that Wood expressed an interest in trying something new last year, allowing Apple to prepare for his exit well in advance. Cue also stated that Apple remains “committed to the Beats brand and the importance of maintaining its role firmly in the music portfolio.”
Beats offers a handful of products, such as the Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, Solo Pro, Studio3 Wireless, and BeatsX. It also designed Beats Music, a platform that acted as the foundation for Apple Music. Acquired in 2014, the brand didn’t get phased out like other companies scooped up by Apple. Even after Apple started rolling out self-branded wireless earbuds, the Beats brand remained intact. Also, Apple will reportedly release over-ear headphones in 2020. Yet that doesn’t seem to pose a threat to Beats’ status.
Perhaps it’ll retire Beats in the future, but Apple appears satisfied with its performance at the moment. In total, Apple’s ‘Wearables, Home, and Accessories’ category that includes Beats generated $10 billion in revenue during Q4 2019. Apple doesn’t detail unit sales anymore, but you’d have to assume Beats contributes in a meaningful capacity if it still exists despite Apple’s self-branded products competing against the brand.