10 things you need to know about Apple buying Beats

Tim Cook and others

Apple made its purchase of Beats official today, capping off an almost-month long flurry of speculation, drunken video brags and dropping decimal points.

While we know a few fast details, like the $3 billion (about £1.79b, AU$3.25b) payday coming Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine's way, there are plenty of points that could use a hash out.

Read on for what you need to know about this blockbuster deal. Here's a teaser: your beloved Beats headphones are here to stay.

1. iTunes and iTunes Radio aren't going away

Perhaps one of the biggest questions on everyone's minds was whether the iTunes Store and/or iTunes Radio would be shuttered if Apple acquired Beats Music. The answer, at least for now, is no.

Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said Beats Music will continue to operate as a "world-class subscription service" while iTunes Radio will live as a free option. Music purchases, meanwhile, can keep on keeping on at the iTunes Store.

In other words, Cupertino now has the third prong to its tune trident, giving consumers more options for how they buy and experience Apple-powered beats.

2. Apple could have built a subscription music service

But it didn't need to.

How do we know this? Because Apple CEO Tim Cook said so.

"Could Eddy's team have built a subscription service? Of course," he told The New York Times after the deal was made public. But why build your own when you can snag somebody else's plus an established hardware business and the minds that cooked it all up?

"It's not one thing that excites us here," Cook continued. "It's the people. It's the service."

What's more, Cook said in an internal memo to employees that Apple views Beats Music as "the first subscription service to really get it right," and its combination of human curation and technology is the spot-on approach to music streaming.

Apple may be the king of simple design, but clearly reinventing the music streaming wheel wasn't something it was up for.

3. Beats Music Android and Windows Phone apps are sticking around

Cook confirmed the Beats Music apps for Android and Windows Phone aren't going away, saying, "It's all about music" in an interview with The Financial Times (via 9to5Mac).

Even though Beats is maintaining its independence, it's still somewhat surprising given Apple's track record of shutting down apps on competing platforms once it's bought a company.

4. Your favorite Beats headphones everywhere!

That's sarcasm, by the way.

"Overpriced," "overrated," and an assortment of unprintable words are often used to describe Beats headphones and other audio products, and lucky for those who love to loathe them, the "b" branded bunch are heading to even more Apple stores.

They will also reach more ears in more countries via the Apple online store and authorized resellers. This means the legions of Beats "fans" will only grow bigger.

5. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are now Apple employees

And we're not talking "special adviser" or "music culture consultants" or any other figurehead titles where the Beats co-founders are brought in for appearances then spend the rest of their time drinking Mai Tais on some secluded island. At least, not in Iovine's case.

The Interscope Records Chairman is stepping down from his post to work full-time for Apple, according to The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Dre will continue making music, but he'll do "as much as it takes" for the iPhone maker, whatever that means.

The details of their new jobs are still under wraps (if they ever come out from wraps), but we do know a few things. For one, their job titles are "Jimmy" and "Dre." We expect business cards with the titles to be printed post haste.

According to Tim Cook in a Q&A with Re/code, the D.R.E. and Iovine are now "100%" full-time Apple employees, though his definition of full-time may be skewed for the famous rapper.

Iovine said in the same sit-down that he and Dre are already flying to Cupertino from Los Angeles "on a regular basis." Now that he at least is out of a day job, he'll be making the quick trip north more frequently.

The pair will work under Cue.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.