HTC and Beats announced on Saturday, that both companies are going to realign their business agreement that provides Beats with more flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile. As a matter of fact, under the terms of the agreement, the founding members of Beats will buy back 25 % of its total shares for a total of approximately 75 % ownership, with HTC remaining the largest outside shareholder with approximately 25 %. Over the last year, HTC and Beats have made great progress in sound innovation, product integration and brand awareness with successes like the HTC One. This comes roughly a year after Beats and HTC announced that HTC has invested into Beats Audio.
For sure, both parties said that they will continue to work closely, which is said to also include a joint global marketing campaign later this year, but it seems obvious that Beats seems to not want to being locked into HTC's eco-system only, especially because HTC wasn't Beats first mobile partner at all but it was HP which put Beat into its line of (now dead) webOS devices. However, this can be seen as a clear indication that Beats plans to continue to work with other smartphone and tablet manufacturers, even if it is said that HTC will keep its commercial exclusivity in mobile, but a 50 % HTC stake could be indeed hindering.
With this change in partnership, it's also quite unlikely that on-demand digital music service MOG, which Beats took over earlier this month, will become HTC's own on-demand music service but maybe Beats will only offer it under its own brand anytime soon, which therefore can find its way on HTC smartphones anyway.
Cheers ~ Arne
HTC Beats Beats_Audio Cooperation