Jimmy Iovine details Beats pitch to Apple, more in new interview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2014
In a wide-ranging interview for GQ's "Men of the Year" segment for 2014, music mogul Jimmy Iovine recounts new behind-the-scenes details on Apple's buyout of Beats Electronics and Beats Music, a process he said took years.

Beats' Jimmy Iovine (left) and Dr. Dre. | Source: Beats Music


A transcript of GQ's Q&A session published Wednesday offers new insight into Apple's $3 billion deal to buy Beats, which snagged the Cupertino tech giant both a headphone business and a music streaming service.

Iovine said he waited for about two years before Apple said "yeah" to his takeover proposal.

"I convinced them that they had to buy this company," Iovine said. "I said, 'I don't want to work for anybody else. I want to do this at Apple. I know I can achieve this at Apple. I don't want to shop it. I wanna come here, to Steve's company. I know you guys; I know what you're capable of; I know you get popular culture. I know you have a hole in music right now; let me plug it.'"

Elaborating on the "hole" metaphor, Iovine implied Apple was falling behind in music services, specifically those tailored to meet the "rise of streaming," which has proved to be a major music industry disruptor. As iTunes changed the way people bought and listened to music, on-demand streaming is quickly doing the same to digital content.

Not much time was spent on his current endeavors at Apple, though Iovine did say he spends time at Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

"When I go up to Apple to work on this music service we're doing, I'm in it," he said. "I'm in that spot from 1973, in the studio, just saying, 'I've gotta crack the code on this thing.' But I got it. It doesn't have me. The holy grail is peace, with ambition. Otherwise, you've wasted your life."

On meeting Dr. Dre, Beats cofounder and current Apple employee, Iovine said the rap star came in to promote The Chronic with then-CEO of Death Row Records Suge Knight. Dre, Knight, Tracy "The D.O.C." Lynn Curry and Richard Gilbert "Dick" Griffey cofounded Death Row in 1991. Iovine's relationship with Dre is "a special thing," he said.

"We trust each other implicitly. It's the closest to a band as I was ever in," Iovine said. "We know what each other does, and we trust each other's instincts so much, that when he's moving somewhere and I go, "No," he goes, "Okay, let's not do that." We've been through a lot; this is a guy--I always say, 'You may know a lot of people who have gotten shot, but you don't know a lot of people who have shot back.'"

Finally, Iovine briefly touched on his musical roots, citing The Beatles as an initial inspiration. As a producer, Iovine played a big part in the successes of huge names like Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Eminem, Dr. Dre and many more.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    Learned nothing.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    ireland wrote: »
    Learned nothing.

    One should never blame others for failing to learn.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    OK Jimmy since you're spouting your mouth off I assume we're going to see new or revamped music offerings from Apple next year?
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Iovine should shut the hell up. He is part of Apple now and Apple is like Disney...they don't like their private negotiations aired out for the world. Keep the deals and behind the scenes BS out of the limelight.

    And when he said, "I convinced [B]them[/B] that [B]they[/B] had to buy this company"... [B]HE[/B] is [B]THEM[/B] now!

    My impression of Beats and their management has not been improved.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    It still remains to be seen what comes out of this whole Beats thing.

  • Reply 6 of 17
    So lovine prides himself at selling Apple a dream.

    Ok.

    Sounds like every other hustler out there.

    And I fail to see what getting shot or shooting people has to do with helping Apple.

    But hey... At least they have the capital to do more "street" commercials now.

    Lessons learned from this interview:
    Jimmy lovine can talk himself into a dream job at Apple.
    Way to go, Jimbob! Now let's see something tangibly good come out of this. Please.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    There's a show called how to catch a contractor, it's based around the fact that when you pay a contractor, he won't even show up for the first day. As soon as you're done paying, the contractor is done. I'm getting that vibe from Jimmy. He has sold the magical music elixir, and now he's going to do his special dance and sprinkle magic dust… And Apple will see nothing from his work. At least they can make the money back on overpriced headphones. I don't see how Apple can hold the position they once had in music, but the good news is they don't need that anymore. I hope Apple can reenter the music industry, but I don't think it will be any of Jimmy's doing.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Speaking of plugging holes, I would be pleased if he would plug his pie hole.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    Sounds like someone who is good with the BS and oblivious to it.

  • Reply 10 of 17
    solipsismy wrote: »
    ireland wrote: »
    Learned nothing.

    One should never blame others for failing to learn.

    One should never say never.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    zabazaba Posts: 226member
    What a wa#*%r
  • Reply 12 of 17
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member

    Those tough looking don't-shoot-me-gangstas are actually both holding their "hello Kitty" headphones in their hands. Shame the black and white picture got cropped ...

     

  • Reply 14 of 17
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    "You have a hole, let me plug it."
    That's my pickup line I always use too before I screw someone!
  • Reply 15 of 17
    andysol wrote: »
    "You have a hole, let me plug it."
    That's my pickup line I always use too before I screw someone!

    Crude, but funny.

    Thank you for tickling my funnybone.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    andysol wrote: »
    "You have a hole, let me plug it."
    That's my pickup line I always use too before I screw someone!

    My line is "I'd like to hear how you survived after being gashed like that"
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    I always say, 'You may know a lot of people who have gotten shot, but you don't know a lot of people who have shot back.'"

     

    Tim, please tell him to shut it!

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