Beats by Dr. Dre is huge. The Monster-developed, Dre-approved, Robert Brunner-designed headphones have been a big hit–there’s hardly an airplane you can fly without seeing some passenger bopping along wearing the black-and-red earmuffs. But just in case the Compton-born hit-maker hadn’t already cornered the celebrity endorsed headphone market, we continue to see more and more artist branding in the space. When will it stop?
First came DiddyBeats, the design inspired by–you guessed it–P. Diddy. Then Heartbeats, à la Lady Gaga. Then JustBeats, courtesy of Justin Bieber. Then PowerBeats, thanks to Lebron James. Quincy Jones’ Harman Signature Headphones. And that’s not to mention the headphones made specifically for Bono’s Product RED charity.
Many of these products were unveiled at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show–this year’s CES is no different. Mimicking the success of Monster Beats, Sleek Audio has leapt in the ring with a pair of wireless headphones backed by hip-hip superstar (and venture capitalist) 50 Cent. It’s interesting that 50, who owes a huge amount of his success to Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the heads of G-Unit Records’ umbrella labels (Interscope/Aftermath) and the creators of Beats By Dre, chose Sleek Audio instead of Monster. Why wouldn’t he want to just make Beats by 50 Cent?
Regardless, Monster continues to grow its ever-expanding roster of artist branding. The company showcased at CES a set of Miles Davis-endorsed headphones, as well as the previously released Daft Punk headphones.
Are we done yet?
No. Atlanta rapper Ludacris jumped on the bandwagon with audio manufacturer Signeo USA, for a product called Soul by Ludacris. Not to be confused by Beats by Dre. Or Sleek by 50.
This trend, my friends, has literally become ludicrous.