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.