Billionaire John Paul DeJoria Gets Into Headphone Battle Against Apple

Posted: Jul 9 2014, 1:06am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 9 2014, 1:11am CDT, in News | Apple

 

Billionaire John Paul DeJoria gets into Headphone Battle against Apple
/* Story Top Left 2010 300x250, created 7/15/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8340327155";
 

John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire boss of Paul Mitchell shampoo and Patron tequila, is taking a shot at Apple's Beats Audio.

Today DeJoria’s new wireless phone service ROK Mobile–which offers unlimited talk, data and music streaming–said it partnered with Monster CEO Noel Lee to launch a new brand of high-end headphones dubbed ROK Monster.

For DeJoria and ROK CEO Jonathan Kendrick, the partnership is a clever organic marketing play to introduce its music-centric mobile service to hardcore music fans. null

Most people know of Monster from their expensive music and TV cables the salespeople at Best Buy try to up-sell you on. Fewer know that Monster was the company that engineered the hardware for white-hot Beats, which Apple scooped in May for a cool $3 billion. Monster’s partnership with Beats master branders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine didn’t end well. In 2012, the deal between Monster and Beats ended. Yes, Monster collected some rich royalties but received none of the $3 billion haul from the Apple purchase.

The wounds are still fresh. In a press release–usually the dullest copy you can find– ROK and Monster took a few jabs at Beats. “Monster products allow you to beat to your own drum–started by an audiophile and sound engineer–unlike some of the competition in the personal audio arena, Monster’s technological foundation is the fundamental difference that sets Monster apart…” In the same release ROK CEO Kendrick quips: “This partnership will prove to be a world-beater” (emphasis theirs).

The ROK deal is a step–albeit a small one–toward getting Monster back into the music game. ROK only launched a few weeks ago, but having DeJoria, a marketing master who has built two billion dollar brands, in your corner can’t hurt. As I’ve written before, DeJoria started out selling old encyclopedias. In 1980, he cofounded hair care company, John Paul Mitchell Systems, with $700, slinging shampoo door-to-door while living along the Sunset Strip in a 20-year-old Rolls Royce. Today Paul Mitchell makes more than $900 million in annual revenue. In 1989, he expanded from hair care to hangovers, creating a market for high-end tequila with his billion-dollar booze brand, Patron.

Already worth billions, why is DeJoria getting into the headphone fight? As he told me previously: “It’s the same reason I went from Paul Mitchell to Patron. null .”

Follow me on Twitter: @Stevenbertoni

This story may contain affiliate links.

Comments

The Author


Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus