Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson Suggests Key TV Content Role for Beats' Jimmy Iovine

jimmy-iovine-crop-324x285Apple is rumored to be purchasing Beats Electronics, with an announcement of the acquisition coming at any moment. The deal is said to include the company's headphone business, its Beats Music subscription service, and two key executives -- Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, aka Andre Young.

Several reports have suggested that Apple's major motivation behind the purchase might be the acquihire of Jimmy Iovine, who has strong ties to the music industry thanks to his role as chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M and founder of Interscope Records.

Walter Isaacson, the man behind the famous Steve Jobs biography, is also speculating that Iovine is one of the main reasons Apple has decided to purchase Beats. In a discussion with Billboard, Isaacson suggested Cook is aiming to have Iovine head up the company's content business, securing music and TV deals that will help Apple launch its much-rumored television product.

Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple's content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years. The product has been held up because Apple can't get all the content owners on board.

Iovine has a long history of working with Apple to help the company sign key deals. In 2002, he helped Steve Jobs secure deals with music labels for the iTunes Store and in 2004, he helped persuade U2 to sign a deal with Apple to create the popular U2 special edition iPod.

Looking back at notes he took when writing the Jobs biography, Isaacson noted that Iovine had wanted Apple to acquire Universal Music Group back in 2003, and during that year, there were rumors suggesting Apple was in talks to buy the record company. At the time, Iovine was leading Interscope Geffen A&M, a division of Universal.

For years now, Apple has been working on signing deals with major content providers with the aim of revolutionizing the television industry, but content providers have been reluctant to commit to an agreement that could interrupt traditional revenue streams. Iovine's many connections in the music industry and his history of helping Apple win key deals could be instrumental in a wider content role with the company.

Maybe Iovine has the charisma and connections to round up the networks the way he did the music labels in 2002, although "it's a lot more complicated" this time around, says Isaacson. His track record of success in marrying content and tech gives that theory some weight.

Recent rumors have suggested that both Iovine and Dr. Dre could make their first appearances as Apple executives during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, set to kick off on June 2.

Top Rated Comments

proline Avatar
90 months ago
For someone with intimate access to Steve Jobs, it never ceases to amaze me how little insight Isaacson has into Apple.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blucrew100 Avatar
90 months ago
interesting…. but why not just purchase netflix…..

----------

Someone's gotta tell Isaacson that writing a biography on Jobs doesn't automatically make one an expert on all things Apple.

Please, Walter, just stop.

Neither does reading a blog or being a fan of apple. Should give the guy who spent a large amount of time talking with Steve Jobs a little credit.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DipDog3 Avatar
90 months ago
That is one expensive acquihire. Even Steve Jobs didn't cost that much.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
polterbyte Avatar
90 months ago
Someone's gotta tell Isaacson that writing a biography on Jobs doesn't automatically make one an expert on all things Apple.

Please, Walter, just stop.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Z400Racer37 Avatar
90 months ago
All the content on TV sucks anyways... I don't understand for the life of me why they don't just do a version of YouTube that doesn't totally suck, integrate it into their content creation software, and let people put out the awesome content themselves.

Major news networks are all losing ratings, and it's because they produce garbage. The stuff on YouTube is way more intelligent, and the producers aren't worried about advertising revenue, so you're not plagued with commercials every 5 dang minutes, and you can actually engage in a deep and intelligent conversation with people, unlike on the major networks, where your thoughts need to be reduced to 5 second spats, and any disagreement goes largely unsettled.

I haven't watched TV in months. I don't miss it one bit. And I'm pretty tired of the excuses for why they can't launch this TV yet... C'mon Apple...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Supermule Avatar
90 months ago
Things start getting weird around Apple...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...