Apple’s Jimmy Iovine Wants More People to Start Paying for Music

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.

World-traveling, tech-savvy, music-producing writer obsessed with all things Apple, video games, and the finer things in life, e.g. mezcal and tacos. When I'm not writing I'm exploring new places, eating new foods, and generally trying to be a decent human.

  • Joe

    Who are these “people” that Jimmy the multi-millionaire wants to start paying for music? Maybe he should try talking to some of them and find out how much disposable income they have.

  • Olley

    9.99 is a lot for music streaming when Netflix charges the same amount. Some may argue that music is almost expensive to produce as movies and tv shows but ultimately I don’t feel like paying that much for music on a go. Maybe half price of that. 5-6 dollars.