Apple Music executive and record industry mogul Jimmy Iovine recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Music Business Worldwide, reflecting upon his desire for more people to start paying for music.
One of the main points of the interview is his desire for Apple Music to move away from exclusive albums. Jimmy Iovine explains that while the service tried the exclusive route, it will focus less on those efforts in the future.
“We’ll still do some stuff with the occasional artist,” Iovine said. “The labels don’t seem to like it and ultimately it’s their content.”
Right off the bat, Iovine was asked to explain some of the biggest issues he has with the current streaming industry. Iovine explained that right now in the music industry, there’s a major problem of “free…music streaming.”
“The fact is that ‘free’ in music streaming is so technically good and ubiquitous that it’s stunting the growth of paid streaming,” Iovine said. “It blew my mind that the day after I walked out on stage [to announce Apple Music at WWDC in 2015], YouTube mobile was licensed.”
Iovine’s push against free streaming services continues, as when he was asked about how Apple works to make Apple Music different from free services, he explained video is becoming a central part of the music experience, specifically saying that the show Dr. Dre is working on for Apple Music “is really going to move the needle.”
He also went on to add: “If Apple Music had a free tier we would have 400m people on it. That would make my job real easy. But we believe artists should get paid. That’s why I went to Apple.”
Spotify remains well ahead of Apple Music in subscribers, with over 50 million paid customers versus Apple’s 20 million. There are likely many more people on Spotify’s ad-based free tier, but the company hasn’t publicly updated those statistics since June 2016.