Jimmy Iovine Says ‘Freemium’ Pricing Models Are Killing The Music Industry


On Wednesday, Apple executive Jimmy Iovine spoke at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit where he said that free-to-stream and “freemium” pricing models are killing the music industry.

Iovine said that tech companies that offer such streaming music services are profiting on the backs of artists. The Apple executive unsurprisingly touted Apple Music as a solution that offers something for both artists and consumers, reports The Verge. Iovine said:

“Free is a real issue. This whole thing about freemium, maybe at one time we needed it. But now it’s a shell game. These companies are building an audience on the back of the artist.”

While services like Spotify and Pandora offer free ad-supported tiers alongside paid subscriptions, Apple Music only offers a paid subscription tier. Beats 1 Radio, which can be accessed by non-subscribers, is different from its competitors because it is more along the lines of a traditional radio station, meaning that users can’t skip songs.


Iovine says that the future of music is looking grim as more and more artists are forced to rely on large-scale touring to earn money.

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  • FragilityG4

    Bad music is killing the music industry.

  • I know I’m probably going to attract some negative comments saying this, but here it goes.

    I have zero sympathy for musical artists in this manner. I LOVE music, however a lot of newer music is recycled beats, horrible notes (Drake), lyrics that don’t rhyme (Drake), and some how get a couple million off shitty music (Drake).

    Basically, if artists have to rely on touring to earn decent money, I see no problem with that, as people we all have to go to work every day too. In todays time, simply putting 6 months out to record an album and expect to sit back and generate income for a few years just isn’t logical anymore. Many people are forced to work minimum wage jobs, or even two jobs just to pay rent, every single day. If artists aren’t happy with the money they’re making, grab a tissue, welcome to the world. the 90% of us have been living this way for our entire careers 😛

    (heaves a sigh, – end of rant) lol

  • FragilityG4


  • iverge

    The music industry has changed like many others… but with that change there are new opportunities in making money with views on YouTube, promoting or endorsing products/ via social media, developing apps to deliver exclusive content, etc…

  • youreallyhavenoclue

    While I agree with you regarding popular music there is still a shitload of great music being made right now. Most of the bands I follow, including NIN, are making great music and selling their music directly to fans.

    Something I really love that none of the streaming services offer is live recordings from bands. Go see Phish, your ticket gives you a free MP3 download of the show or pays little more to get higher than cd quality flac files.

    We typically go to mountain jam, electric forest and/or another music festival each summer (Wayhome north of Toronto last year was great) and a lot of those artists let you buy those shows within a week or two of the performance. Seems like a great way to make extra money on your shows if you are a decent artist, and these festivals seem to be loaded with legit amazing artists (Gov’t mule, Sting Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee, Papadosio, Pretty Lights, Disco Biscuits, the plethora of grateful dead related bands, etc.) I feel like there is way too much good music coming out that I can’t afford to buy all of it (thank you what.cd!)