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

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.

jimmyiovine
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.

Top Rated Comments

Chupa Chupa Avatar
94 months ago
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.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jerry16 Avatar
94 months ago
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:
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
verpeiler Avatar
94 months ago
Stop this "exclusive" crap, just be a good and solid music streaming service.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zanton68 Avatar
94 months ago
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
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
infinitejest Avatar
94 months ago
They've been talking so much about how they are gonna make Apple Music so amazing and so special, but... nothing is ever happening..
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
94 months ago
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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
iPad And Calculator App Feature

Apple Finally Plans to Release a Calculator App for iPad Later This Year

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:08 am PDT by
Apple is finally planning a Calculator app for the iPad, over 14 years after launching the device, according to a source familiar with the matter. iPadOS 18 will include a built-in Calculator app for all iPad models that are compatible with the software update, which is expected to be unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's annual developers conference WWDC on June 10. AppleInsider...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis,...