Jimmy Iovine on Apple Music: 'We're Trying to Make it a Cultural Point of Reference'

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Jimmy Iovine, who leads Apple Music alongside Eddy Cue, Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor, and Larry Jackson, recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Variety covering everything from Apple's goals with the streaming service to its experimentation with exclusives.

Though Jimmy Iovine has no official title at Apple, going by just "Jimmy," he has negotiated many of the streaming deals for the service and has been a key team member since Apple purchased Beats Music in 2014. "Apple, of all the global tech companies, was the one that understood why artists make things," Iovine said, explaining why he had a close relationship with Apple even before the acquisition.


Since its debut, Apple Music has grown to 20 million subscribers, with 10 million added in 2016 alone. Much of that can be attributed to Apple's evolving focus, first on exclusives and now on video. Apple is adding original content to Apple Music, in the form of two TV shows - a reality series based on Carpool Karaoke and drama that will star Dr. Dre.

Iovine wouldn't go into detail about Apple's future plans for original content, but he explained that Apple's goal is to make Apple Music "a cultural point of reference." He says Apple's work on original content shouldn't be compared to other entertainment companies like Netflix.
Iovine, asked if he sees Apple Music attempting to become competitive with the likes of Netflix in the original-content sphere, demurs. "I wouldn't put it that way," he says. "When I read that, or I read that we're taking on whomever, I say no. To me it's all one thing. It's Apple Music, and it happens to have video and audio. ... It has nothing to do with what Netflix is doing."
On the topic of exclusive content, which has created conflict between Apple and both its competitors and record labels, Iovine says Apple is "just experimenting." He says his work with Apple hasn't caused problems with former colleagues in the music business, despite the bitterness over exclusive content.
"I don't lean on [exclusives] too heavily myself," he says. "We did 'em. We'll do some more. But we're just experimenting. I just know that if something feels right and someone wants to, we're willing to do it, to help them really market their record, get the word out, and spend what it deserves."
According to Iovine, the key to Apple's continued success in the music industry is an ability to "speak both languages," referring to the harmonizing of technology and music. He believes there's room in the streaming music industry for many companies, as long as "streaming is done right," with each service being culturally different with a unique feel. "Yeah, they all have the same catalog," he said." But what we're doing is we're just building on top of that. That's where the personality and the feel will come from."

Iovine's full interview, which covers a range of additional topics like his childhood, early jobs, close relationship with Dr. Dre, the founding of Beats Music, Beats 1 Radio, and subscription streaming models, can be read over at Variety and is worth checking out for those who want an inside look at Apple Music.

Article Link: Jimmy Iovine on Apple Music: 'We're Trying to Make it a Cultural Point of Reference'
 

Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,656
2,137
You better make it like Spotify.
Hell no. I'm not a fan how Spotify focuses primarily on playlists instead of records. Spotify is like that service you use for gym workout stuff (much better content curation there than on AM, especially when it comes to EDM), but when you really want to discover artists and their full discography, it's hard to top Apple Music.

After all, Apple have been doing music for over a decade.
 

jerry16

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2016
236
1,875
across the universe
Apple Music can go fly a kite if it is going to keep turning my phone into an advertisement.

I've disabled "show Apple Music" in settings three times this week only to have it reenable on its own every time. If I wanted a horrible user experience and to be the product, I would switch to Android. :mad:
 

Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,656
2,137
Apple Music can go fly a kite if it is going to keep turning my phone into an advertisement.

I've disabled "show Apple Music" in settings three times this week only to have it reenable on its own every time. If I wanted a horrible user experience and to be the product, I would switch to Android. :mad:
Plot twist: Apple includes code in their software that automatically re-enables "features" that can turn into an additional source of revenue for them.
 

jvaska

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2002
432
18
Haiti/NYC
Have they fixed iTunes yet? Why do I need to manage my iPhone with it still? Why do I occasionally have to access it to update my CC info or my account id? iTunes sucks...I'm sorry to say...so I won't touch their Music app until it's separated and they fix the usage bugs (like not having offline access to music I both bought via iTunes and uploaded myself).

It's kind of obvious that Apple will eventually go the way of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., and start producing music. They will become the new recording publisher. I don't believe anything Iovine has to say...
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Seems he and Apple are trying too hard. Becoming a cultural point of reference doesn't happen via marketing. It's organic. The goal should be to make something great. Then consumers will take notice and THEN it will be come a cultural point of reference.

Iovine is really the epitome of AppleThink in the Cook era.
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2016
3,628
7,883
Berlin, Germany
if they say so, i will just listen to music the way i want without searching for some deeper meaning behind it lol

Hell no. I'm not a fan how Spotify focuses primarily on playlists instead of records. Spotify is like that service you use for gym workout stuff (much better content curation there than on AM, especially when it comes to EDM), but when you really want to discover artists and their full discography, it's hard to top Apple Music.

After all, Apple have been doing music for over a decade.
huh? just search for an artist and you get the whole discography right there sorted by album and year and if you want similar recommendations for said artist, just click radio
 

Zanton68

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2012
116
85
UK
Apple Music isn't a service, it was like a virus on my iPhone, constantly badgering me to listen to what Apple want me to listen to instead of letting me choose, ruining all my album artwork and Beats 1?? Is there a worse radio station on the planet?? I wouldn't mind if Beats 1 it was an option you could turn off but it's on force touch, the Watch & it's garbage. Does it ever play anything other than R'n'B ? I chose Apple as a means to play music I want to listen to, not to be strong armed into listening to rubbish I don't like. I now switch between the Apple app, Ecoute and Spotify. I want an iPod classic option so I can listen to some music. All I want to do is choose what I want to listen to and listen to it. Apple have ruined this experience for me
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,058
35,061
They've been talking so much about how they are gonna make Apple Music so amazing and so special, but... nothing is ever happening..
It's improved and more refined than iOS 9 was. It's not as convoluted, but it still has lots of room for improvement. I do think it's easier to navigate.
 
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Fattytail

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2012
898
236
It's improved and more refined than iOS 9 was. It's not as convoluted, but it still has lots of room for improvement. I do think it's easier to navigate.
It's a little better than what it used to be, but still not as good as Spotify. There's too much of a focus on mainstream commercial artists and not enough discovery of lesser known artists. Its playlist sharing and library just pale in comparison to Spotify's. I also absolutely hate the fact, as others have pointed out, that you have to use iTunes to get into Apple Music. iTunes is the biggest POS software and it's largely useless. Just break out Apple Music from iTunes and I'll consider going back to Apple Music.
 
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Uofmtiger

macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2010
2,068
806
Memphis
Maybe once Apple wakes the eff up and realizes that there's more music out there than rap & hip-hop Apple Music will be worth shelling out money for but until then I'll stick to the music I own.
I don't listen to rap/hip hop and Apple Music works great for me. Their "For You" section knows what I like, so I never see those styles of music on that page. I don't listen to Beats1. However, I don't know that a station built around my preferences would get the millennial (and younger) generation they are trying to capture.

Carpool Karaoke and Dre are two different audiences with some overlap in the middle. That is probably why they chose these two shows to start with. I will probably check out both out of curiosity...but I would be surprised if I did much more than that.

It really has no affect on whether I like or dislike AM.
 
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