Remember Monster? The company known for its overpriced HDMI cables used to be one of the driving forces behind Beats by Dr. Dre, but got essentially pushed out when HTC took a 51 percent stake in the company in 2011. Or at least that’s what Monster CEO Noel Lee and his son and business partner Kevin Lee claimed in an excellent Gizmodo article today airing their side of the story.
From the story:
“Monster bristles at the suggestion that Beats had everything, even anything to do with engineering: “Absolutely not, they don’t have any engineers,” says Noel. Kevin piles on: “Beats [had] zero [engineering role],” a reality of the deal he says is “undisputed—Monster engineered the sound in Beats by Dre headphones. They told us what they wanted and they approved it, but we made that sound possible.” That “approval” role is one that’s repeated throughout Noel and Kevin’s recounting: They brought hardware to Jimmy and Dre, there would be a back and forth, and off the headphones would go to someone’s credit card bill, carried by a gust of music video bluster and rapper aspiration. It worked so, so well.”
Of course, the timing of Monster’s venting is interesting: Beats has been working for some time on launching its own music subscription service. The company bought music subscription service MOG last summer to get its hands on its technology and licenses, and just hired online music veteran Ian Rogers to be the CEO of the new service.
It’s unclear yet when the new service, which is code-named Daisy, is going to launch – but it looks like Monster felt it was about time to remind people of its role in establishing the Beats brand.