hopes Beats co-founder's 'ear' can help amid 'dying'
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[May 29, 2014]
By Alexei Oreskovic
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
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
"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
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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
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)
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