The company is reportedly in talks to buy Beats Electronics, the company behind Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and the new Beats Music streaming service, The New York Times Dealbook reports.
The possible deal could be a sign that Apple is ready to expand its stake in the music industry to more than its current iTunes download store and compete with streaming services like Spotify and Pandora.
According to Dealbook, the deal is still in early stages and negotiations could stall. However, if completed an announcement could come as early as next week.
While Apple is still the largest seller of downloads, with stores in more than 100 countries around the world, the market share for the company has declined.
If the deal goes through this wouldn’t be Apple’s first attempt to enter the streaming music service. Last year Apple debuted its own iTunes Radio.
Additionally, if the Beats Music streaming service is successful then Apple may want to reconsider its push earlier this year to have record labels to offer exclusive content on iTunes and block initial streaming.
Apple is no stranger to acquiring new, innovative technology. In a recent earnings call chief executive Timothy D. Cook said the company had acquired 24 companies in the last 18 months. Many of those were targeted to small-scale deals.
Consumer technology analysts say the proposed big deal doesn’t necessarily signal a change in the company’s favoritism to small deals.
“This would have to fit into a much longer, more innovative strategy around perhaps the hardware and the service,” Ben Bajarin, a consumer technology analyst with Creative Strategies, tells Dealbook.
Apple Said to Be in Talks to Buy Rising Music Brand for $3.2 Billion [The New York Times Dealbook]