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Dr Dre's Beats raises $60m for 'Daisy' music streaming service

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Beats, the premium headphone company co-founded by rapper Dr Dre, has reportedly raised $60 million (£36.7m) from a major investor to launch its own music streaming service.

According to The Verge, billionaire Len Blavatnik has agreed to plough the majority of the money into Daisy, the new service announced by Beats in January that will launch in "late 2013" as a rival to Spotify.

Dr Dre sports Boston Red Sox-branded Beats headphones

© WENN / Nicolaus Czarnecki

Dr Dre with a pair of Boston Red Sox-branded Beats headphones



The deal could be announced as early as next week, the tech site's sources said.

Not only would Beats be getting a major cash investment from Blavatnik, it would also presumably get backing from Warner Music Group, after the Russian-born billionaire acquired the record label in 2011 for $3.3bn (£2.2bn).

The Verge notes that the investment came from Access Industries, Blavatnik's investment vehicle and the owner of Warners.

Access has already made an investment in music streaming, after putting $130 million (£86 million) into Deezer, a Paris-based service.

Beats Electronics and Access Industries have not yet commented on the deal.

But Bloomberg has now backed up the report, saying that the investment has been agreed and Daisy will launch towards the end of 2013.

It adds that the investment group was led by Blavatnik, but also includes casino mogul James Packer, and Marc Rowan of Apollo Global Management.

Music streaming services are fast becoming a key growth area in the digital space. Spotify raised more than $100m in funding last year, and is valued at around $3bn (£1.99bn).

Beats 'Ekocycle' headphones

© PA Images / Mary Altaffer / AP

Beats 'Ekocycle' headphones



Also this week, it emerged that Google's YouTube is reportedly planning its own music streaming service to run alongside a "digital music locker" set to launch on the Android platform this year.

But what Beats would be able to do is harness its celebrity power. The company, founded by Dr Dre and record label boss Jimmy Iovine, has grown strongly by getting famous names, such as Lady GaGa and Lil Wayne, to design its premium headphones.

Last year, the company picked up MOG, a music streaming service that had struggled to compete with the dominant players of Rdio, Spotify and Pandora.

As part of the deal, Beats got the technology for underpinning its own media streaming and e-commerce platform. The firm is expected to use Daisy to push its audio and merchandise products.

Beats has hired Topspin Media founder Ian Rogers and singer/songwriter Trent Reznor to design Daisy, which is thought to be just an internal codename and not the final branding.

Reuters reports that Apple has also discussed a potential partnership with Beats, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The iPhone maker is thought to have a long-standing ambition to bring a music "radio" service to its iTunes platform.

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