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Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine Pitched Steve Jobs on Subscription Music Service

In a new interview with AllThingsD, Beats Electronics CEO Jimmy Iovine reveals that he is preparing a subscription music service. Although he isn't revealing details yet, he does say that he started pitching the service to Steve Jobs in 2003.


In 2002, 2003, Doug [Morris, former Universal Music head] asked me to go up to Apple and see Steve. So I met him and we hit it off right away. We were really close. We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod — we did a lot of stuff together.

But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away. [Beats co-founder] Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it. He was there, not there … he didn’t want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually.

I don’t know what [Apple media head] Eddy Cue would say — I’m seeing him soon — but I think in the end Steve was feeling it, but the economics...he wanted to pay the labels [for subscriptions], but [the fees were] not going to be acceptable to them.
Recently, music streaming services like rdio, Pandora and Spotify have become increasingly popular and Apple is rumored to be working on a Pandora-like "iRadio" streaming service. Iovine mentions that his streaming service would be heavy on curation, like Pandora, rather than simply giving users access to millions of songs like Spotify. Apple's rumored streaming service is said to take the same approach, which makes sense if Jobs did like Iovine's pitch.

Beats and Apple do have a fairly close relationship already, as Apple retail stores tend to use Beats by Dre headphones to demo iPods and other devices.

Top Rated Comments

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17 months ago

The only thing "Beats" bring to the Apple store is thieving scum who steal the **** out of them.


And incredibly bad headphones that have been marketed brilliantly.
Rating: 42 Positives
17 months ago
Want to hear a joke?

A guy wearing Beats headphones says Macs are low quality and overpriced.
Rating: 29 Positives
17 months ago
I don't like subscription services, period. I don't need another service for which I pay a monthly fee whether I use it or not.

That is why I like the original itunes models. You like a song, and you buy it, No further obligations.

On the other hand, if I were running a business, a subscription service would be great. Nothing like a steady stream of revenue. But IMHO, as a consumer you get screwed unless you are an addict that listens 24/7.
Rating: 20 Positives
17 months ago
I would even go as far to say that the apple EARPODS sound better than the beats headphones they are so bad.
Rating: 16 Positives
17 months ago

Steve has always been a stickler for money.


Aren't we all.
Rating: 16 Positives
17 months ago

Dr Dre, Birdman, Jay-Z, 50 cent

These are just some names with a higher net worth than any of the artists you listen to. Maybe all the artists you listen to combined. They also invested in a lot of ventures outside of music. Dre with Beats. 50 cent with Vitamine Water. Jay-z...

Wiz and Mac are on their way to the top.

The genre you dislike is at the top. And your at the bottom.

Maybe you should learn how to listen to Rap music.

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Maybe you're not cool enough for em.

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If you want the best quality go with Bose.

Compared to the 3 you listed, Bose QC15s are best.


I went through the most expensive Beats and Sennheisers. Bose still has the best all around ear headphones.

Most comfortable.
Best noise canellation (noticable).
Very good balance between bass and treble.

Beats has more bass than treble (duh)

Sennheiser is a cheaper Bose, less quality


It may just be your opinion but:
I've never read so much BS in one post before.
Rating: 15 Positives
17 months ago
To Jimmy and Doug.

Remember in 1999 when you signed my band because we were the biggest thing online?

Remember when you asked me what the future of the music business would be and I said 99 cent singles?

Remember how you both told me that (as well as subscription) services would never happen in your lifetime?

Glad to see you woke up during your lifetime.

It's too late now to implement your ideas in a way that would be as profitable as they would have been a decade ago.

Good Luck!

Ron
Rating: 11 Positives
17 months ago

And incredibly bad headphones that have been marketed brilliantly.


This. Don't you just love how Iovine declares love for high quality sound and still continues his BS with Beats.
Rating: 9 Positives
17 months ago
The only thing "Beats" bring to the Apple store is thieving scum who steal the **** out of them.
Rating: 7 Positives
17 months ago

Steve Jobs was a great.

Now he's dead.

He isn't important anymore. The people of NOW are important.


You may become less important over time after your death, but it sure isn't an instantaneous thing. Steve Jobs is certainly still important today, despite the fact his body failed him (or he failed it,) over a year ago.
Rating: 7 Positives

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