Apple hopes Beats co-founder's "ear" can help amid "dying" music industry

RANCHO PALOS VERDES Calif. Thu May 29, 2014 12:39pm IST

Jimmy Iovine takes part in a panel discussion for the show ''American Idol'' at the Fox Broadcasting Company Winter Press Tour 2011 for the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, California January 11, 2011.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

Jimmy Iovine takes part in a panel discussion for the show ''American Idol'' at the Fox Broadcasting Company Winter Press Tour 2011 for the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, California January 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson/Files

Related Topics


A statue of the Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, is carried in a taxi to a place of worship on the first day of the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Ganesh Chaturthi

During Ganesh Chaturthi idols will be taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and will be immersed in a river or the sea in accordance with Hindu faith.  Slideshow 

RANCHO PALOS VERDES Calif. (Reuters) - Apple Inc's newest high-profile hire isn't sure he has a job title and won't commit to working full-time at its home base, but the iPhone maker is banking on Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to steer it through a changing music business.

The recording industry veteran is joining up with Apple as part of its $3 billion acquisition of music streaming and audio equipment maker Beats. Iovine's "ear" for music and his entertainment industry expertise are valuable qualities for Apple, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said on Wednesday.

"Music is dying in the way that we've known it. It hasn't been growing in the way that we all want it to," Cue said, appearing with Iovine at the Code technology conference in southern California.

Along with Beats co-founder and rapper Dr Dre, Iovine arrives at Apple as new online music streaming services such as Pandora Media and Spotify are gaining popularity. Streaming services are expected to eventually eclipse music downloads offered by Apple's iTunes store.

The Beats subscription music service had amassed 250,000 users in its first three months of availability, according to Iovine, a relatively modest number compared to Spotify's 10 million paying subscribers.

"We have to get this model right. We don't know the exact model yet, but we have to put steroids into this thing and get it done quickly," Iovine said.

Iovine, 61, is best known as the founder of Interscope Records, home of artists from Eminem to Lady Gaga. He said there has been a long-running disconnect between Silicon Valley and Hollywood which Beats and Apple would seek to bridge.

"In the entertainment business everybody is desperately insecure," Iovine said, whereas "the guys in Silicon Valley seemed to be slightly over-confident."

Beats' business selling high-end headphones will report to Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller after the deal closes, while the streaming music service will report to Cue, Iovine said.

When it comes to job titles though, Iovine said he was not very hung up on such things. Asked if he had a job title, he replied "I don't think so."

As for moving to Cupertino, Calif., where Apple is based, Iovine said only that he planned to "spend a lot of time" there.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared



Celebrity Wedding

Celebrity Wedding

Quietly, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say, 'I do'.  Full Article 

Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival

Indonesia massacre, Iran sanctions impact infuse Venice film offerings  Full Article | Related Story 

Health Woes

Health Woes

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York hospital.  Full Article 

Legal Trouble

Legal Trouble

Rocker Sammy Hagar must face ex-Playboy bunny's lawsuit.  Full Article 

Trip Tips

Trip Tips

Tour the dark side of Copenhagen's fairy tale.  Full Article 

Governors Awards

Governors Awards

Belafonte, Miyazaki to receive Academy's Governors Awards.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage