Jimmy Iovine on the Future of Apple Music: 'We're Building the Right Hybrid'


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine spoke with Billboard in a wide-ranging interview that was shared this afternoon, where he shared his thoughts on his team, the importance of merging technology and popular culture, and the future of Apple Music.

According to Iovine, Apple is aiming to build a music service that is both "technologically and culturally adept," bridging technology with art and music creation. He declined to share details on what that might look like, but said Apple is aiming for "the right hybrid."
And what we're going to do, what we're doing now that hasn't been revealed yet, is we're building the right hybrid. And we believe it's the right hybrid, and the combination of these things together, we'll build a music service that is technologically and culturally adept.
Iovine's team, many of whom have worked with him on Beats and Beats Music long before the acquisition by Apple, is essential to to the music experience that the Apple Music team is constructing. He had high praise for Larry Jackson, Trent Reznor, Luke Wood, and Eddy Cue. "It took 10 years to develop this team," he said, highlighting their ability to understand the intersection of technology and popular culture. "The people were chosen and understood how to work in both worlds," he said. "This is not something where you can just pluck somebody out of the air."

On further exploring video and film projects, Iovine says Apple is going to do "whatever we believe is great." He went on to explain that Apple is not in the record business and is instead building something that can help labels, artists, and undiscovered artists, describing the effort as an "adjunct to labels and artists."
We're going to do whatever we believe is great. We are going to make a combination of tech and popular culture that is exciting and adept at both areas. So that's what you're starting to see. It's going to have a voice. It's not going to be just a utility -- "Go here and get your music, good luck," or, "We're going to send you a list" -- that's great, but that's not what this is. That's not what this was, anyway.
Apple Music, led by Jimmy Iovine, Eddy Cue, and the rest of the team, has been steadily growing since its 2015 launch. Apple has experimented with using exclusive content and music releases to draw subscribers, and there's a heavy focus on video content. In addition to several Apple-produced music videos and films created in collaboration with artists, Apple is also exploring at least two TV shows, Vital Signs and Carpool Karaoke, that will promote the service.

In another interview with BuzzFeed News in late September, Iovine explained that Apple Music had been a bit too ambitious when it first launched, but that Apple is now hitting its stride and figuring out what works and what doesn't work.

The full interview with Jimmy Iovine, which includes a lot more detail on his team and what it takes to develop a service like Apple Music, can be read over at Billboard.

Article Link: Jimmy Iovine on the Future of Apple Music: 'We're Building the Right Hybrid'


macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
Sometimes there are just people that when you see them and they talk, my gut feeling just tells me: "That's a person you can't trust". Sorry - he's on that list. Maybe I just don't know him IRL, but immah have to go with my gut right now. Sorry for going offtopic. Just.. when I read this news and his quotes, I just think it's thin air.


macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
According to Iovine, Apple is aiming to build a music service that is both "technologically and culturally adept," bridging technology with art and music creation.​

I'd be happy if they could make a music app that just, you know, played the music I already chose to sync to my phone, like I used to be able to do with my iPod.

I really wish they'd separate the "Music" app, which should be used for playing the music on your phone, regardless of where it came from; and the "Apple Music" app, which is the one you'd use if you want to pay $10/month to be "culturally adept"(?!).

Also, what an industry/label-***-kissing slime-ball. He's the embodiment of what's rotten at Apple these days.​


macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
Wish I Was In Space!
Another dinosaur in the music business, he's all hype. The music business needs a full overhaul! People like him used artists to get to where they are now and haven't built anything. As a person who worked in the music business for nearly 20 years I can honestly say none of them have a clue how to build the right platform.. Now having said that.. Apple might know how, but there's no way it has anything to do with him and his ego.


macrumors newbie
Feb 27, 2015
It would be nice if Apple, overall, paid some slight bit of attention to Classical Music (capitals intentional). There are not many of us anymore but we do tend to be picky --- and prosperous --- and Apple Music is a bloody mess as far as we are concerned.
Beats headphones are even worse though, here, there is a plethora of excellent non-Apple choices.


macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2011
...my gut feeling just tells me: "That's a person you can't trust". Sorry - he's on that list.
Precisely. ...my bulls#1t meeter goes through the roof throughout that interview. You don't get to the top of a company like apple without being able to see through people's bs, but are they really so blinded by this guys 'hip old guy' persona & veneered smile that they can't see he's full of it??


macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
New England
I mean no offense to my musician brothers and sisters, but musicians should not be the people designing an fee-for-service streaming platform and client application, nor deciding which general direction the business should go in.

Engineers, designers, and experienced product managers should do that. And then everyone down to the lowliest computer science intern should be required to use the product they are working on. I don't doubt Iovine's team's chops in the music industry, but their product so far is not impressive. It feels like they are trying to guide the engineers and designers, but something is lost in translation, and we get this vomit of an app. I can forgive the ugly UI alone, I can forgive the bloat of features alone, I can forgive the inconsistent experience. But all of them combined...

It's like putting Anthony Bourdain in charge of designing a consumer toaster oven. Sure the guy is a good cook, knows more about food than 99.9% of the population, and can probably run several very successful restaurants at once. But while toaster ovens are in the same general food category, I am not sure Anthony Bourdain knows what it takes to engineer and implement a mass-market consumer product.

Likewise, musicians and music executives should not be driving this Apple product.