Apple is planning a major “reboot” of its streaming music service Apple Music later this year, according to a detailed report from Bloomberg published on Wednesday.
It’s one of the first clear looks at just how involved music industry legend Jimmy Iovine is at Apple. He’s “tasked with the music product’s success,” according to the report, and is Apple Music’s top executive.
Although Iovine doesn’t have an official title at Apple headquarters — he goes by “Jimmy” — he’s been very active on Apple’s behalf.
Here’s what he’s done:
- Iovine was a key figure in bringing Taylor Swift over to Apple’s side after she harshly criticised Apple Music last summer. Now she’s in multiple Apple Music ads.
- He’s pretty much Apple’s first line of contact with musicians and organizes concerts. Drake’s latest album, Views, is currently an Apple Music exclusive, and Iovine was a big part of that.
- Iovine runs his own negotiations, sometimes ticking off other Apple employees who were in negotiations with the same people.
- He’s pushing Apple online services boss Eddy Cue to invest more into Apple Music.
- Apple’s Los Angeles music office has more than 1,000 people working out of it.
However, it does sound as if the merger between Beats and Apple hasn’t always been smooth — and Iovine has been part of that friction, especially considering Apple’s leadership structure has him and other executives in Los Angeles while Cue is based in Cupertino, California.
Iovine was famous before he cofounded Beats, which Apple bought for over $3 billion in 2014. As the cofounder of Interscope Records, he knows lots of musicians around Hollywood. It appears as if Apple is taking full advantage of those connections — but it’s apparently come at a cost in terms of employees who have left.
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