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Beats CEO tried to push Steve Jobs toward subscription music service

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
In an interview with All Things D on Thursday, Beats Audio CEO Jimmy Iovine said that he spent three years trying to persuade late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs to start a subscription-based streaming music service over a decade ago.

Jimmy Iovine
Beats Audio CEO Jimmy Iovine. | Source: All Things D


According to the All Things D report, Iovine tried to push Jobs into launching a subscription service while working with the tech guru in 2002 and 2003 as head of record label Interscope Geffen.

"So I met [Jobs] and we hit it off right away. We were really close," Iovine said. "We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod ? we did a lot of stuff together.
But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn?t keen on it right away."

He went on to say that while Jobs was interested in the concept, "he didn't want to pay record companies enough," believing that the economics would eventually become more favorable.

Iovine didn't discuss Apple's current efforts, but did mention in passing that he would be meeting with the company's chief of media Eddy Cue "soon." He was not pressed for more details and
the interview moved to Iovine's upcoming subscription product called Project Daisy, a collaboration with Beats that looks to outdo existing services like Rhapsody, MOG and Rdio. The CEO will leverage his substantial backing as a high-ranking executive at Universal Music Group, which owns Interscope Geffen, to drive curated content to users.

It was reported in September and again in October that Apple was looking to create an internet radio service similar to Pandora, but no such product has been announced.
post #2 of 20
Why would anyone care what this guy has to say?

Talk about marketing reality distortion fields. He sells an overpriced, poor quality headphone that doesn't even sound that great. Why in the world would Apple pay attention to him?

Why doesn't he spend his time making headphones that don't break in just a few months of light use instead of sticking his nose where it doesn't belong?
Edited by jragosta - 1/11/13 at 5:54am
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why would anyone care what this guy has to say?

Talk about marketing reality distortion fields. He sells an overpriced, poor quality headphone that doesn't even sound that great. Why in the world would Apple pay attention to him?

I'd say Steve made the right call, based on the track record of subscription services. You have to give it away to get market traction.
post #4 of 20
They have to give it away and then fill the service with ads to make it profitable. Some people are willing to pay for content and that's why iTunes sells more music than anyone else.
post #5 of 20

Nope. From a daily quote calendar I received: 


The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model and it might not be successful.

 

Guess who said it.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #6 of 20

Mind sharing the name of that Calendar? Sounds like a good one.

 

 

Quote:
The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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Quote:
The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #7 of 20
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post
Mind sharing the name of that Calendar? Sounds like a good one.

 

I, Steve: Steve Jobs in His Own Words. Link's just so you know what it looks like if you see it in a store or something.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #8 of 20
There are folks that will go for subscription. They don't mind the ads, they don't mind the lack of total control over what they hear. They might pay a little to remove the ads but they aren't likely to ever pay to 'own' their music. Just not their style. They aren't likely to pay to own their TV etc either and are fine with Hulu, Netflix and so in.

And that's fine. Better they do that than pirate and the artists get nothing at all.

But some folks want to have no ads, total control etc. They want to 'own' their music, TV, etc.

I think Apple is more likely to stick with that latter groups needs. Yes they might put in methods of streaming what you bought in the store or have in your Match. But that's likely basically it. A return of lala.com's discovery tools maybe to go with it. But they aren't likely to try to kill the other services with one of their own.

Apple doesn't want to be an ISP, cable company, etc. I suspect a radio company is in there also. There is a quote, I believe from Steve himself, that goes something like 'Apple willing doesn't mean everyone else must lose.' It was his way of saying this isn't a zero sum game. He was talking, as I recall, about the issue of Apple lacking in market share. But to me that applies to this issue as well. Apple can 'wIn' without killing off or even trying to kill off every other company. Pandora etc filled a need for those that Apple didn't, let them keep fills THAT need while Apple fills the other side

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why would anyone care what this guy has to say?

Talk about marketing reality distortion fields. He sells an overpriced, poor quality headphone that doesn't even sound that great. Why in the world would Apple pay attention to him?

Why doesn't he spend his time making headphones that don't break in just a few months of light use instead of sticking his nose where it doesn't belong?


Why would anyone care what this guy has to say? Why would Apple listen to him? You think selling headphones is his main gig?

 

You don't know much about music.

post #10 of 20

I don't buy it. Nor do I want to buy a subscription service to listen to music that I already own. Music I paid for multiple times through records, tapes, and CDs. Now through digital services like iTunes. I compare it to owning your own home. Then deciding to just pay rent so you don't have to worry about maintenance. Just doesn't sound right to me.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddragon View Post

I don't buy it. Nor do I want to buy a subscription service to listen to music that I already own. Music I paid for multiple times through records, tapes, and CDs. Now through digital services like iTunes. I compare it to owning your own home. Then deciding to just pay rent so you don't have to worry about maintenance. Just doesn't sound right to me.


Doesn't sound right?
 

I get that that's not what you prefer. Nor is it what I prefer. But there are millions of people who do like that model. So to say it doesn't sound right is like saying millions of people don't sound right to you. Now that doesn't sound right.


Edited by stelligent - 1/11/13 at 9:04am
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post
But there are millions of people who do like that model. So to say it doesn't sound right is like millions of people don't sound right to you. Now that doesn't sound right.

 

No, what doesn't sound right is demanding Apple cater to these people.

 

And yeah, they're just a little bit outright wrong, anyway.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

No, what doesn't sound right is demanding Apple cater to these people.

 

And yeah, they're just a little bit outright wrong, anyway.


But who is demanding anything? This story is about an important player in the music world suggesting something to Apple. Is it ok (by you) to pitch business models to other people?

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why would anyone care what this guy has to say?

He sells an overpriced, poor quality headphone that doesn't even sound that great.

 

You answered your own question. I, too, would listen to someone who repeatedly sells 50 cents (no pun intended) for a dollar. Must be doing something right. 

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


Doesn't sound right?

 
I get that that's not what you prefer. Nor is it what I prefer. But there are millions of people who do like that model. So to say it doesn't sound right is like saying millions of people don't sound right to you. Now that doesn't sound right.

Where are these millions? You'd think that would be enough to buoy the Zune brand, but it didn't. MS staked a major portion of their Zune business model on subscriptions. The same goes for Rhapsody and other services. The current popular models involve ad-based streaming models to garner popularity.
Edited by JeffDM - 1/11/13 at 11:53am
post #16 of 20
Music industrialist urges Apple CEO to do something which benefits the music industry more than Apple Inc. and Apple CEO demurs 1eek.gif
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


Why would anyone care what this guy has to say? Why would Apple listen to him? You think selling headphones is his main gig?

 

You don't know much about music.

 

"He is credited with having given Eminem's demo tape to Dr. Dre, who signed him to his Aftermath label."

 

That right there qualifies him for an award for setting back music ten years.  

post #18 of 20
Did you just say "records, tapes and CDs"?

I think I saw both the reason in your argument and its flaw at the same time.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

 

"He is credited with having given Eminem's demo tape to Dr. Dre, who signed him to his Aftermath label."

 

That right there qualifies him for an award for setting back music ten years.  

Yes, he hooked up Eminem, and also Lady Gaga. But there's more:

 

"Iovine began his career as a recording engineer in the mid-1970s, working with RaspberriesJohn LennonBruce Springsteen and Jonathan Liberato. He went on to produce albums for U2 (Rattle & Hum), Tom Petty & The HeartbreakersStevie NicksGolden EarringSimple MindsDire StraitsThe Motors, Flame and Patti Smith."

 

And for fun: "Bruce Springsteen's song "Ain't Good Enough For You" referenced Iovine: "And babe I tried to make the latest scene, Hip and cool, just like Jimmy Iovine.""

 

As for subscription services, I know people who love Pandora and use it constantly - one person listens to Kirtan music all day long, another to jazz music. I've never used it myself, and I have no idea how a subscription service for Apple would be profitable, other than letting people listen to music (whole songs and albums) that they could then one-click buy in iTunes. Good idea? I don't know.


Edited by elroth - 1/11/13 at 2:24pm
post #20 of 20

Subscription works for me. As long as I pay my 10 bucks a month, I have access to more tracks than could ever have bought. I haven't really bought or listened to music in years and the subscription model has changed that. I hear something's that catchy and I go my service and listen to it. It's great.

 

Nothing against individual purchases, but my preference right now is for subs.

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