Jimmy Iovine spearheading talks to lock up exclusive releases for Apple's Beats Music

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2014
Expanding on one of the most successful promotions in iTunes history, Beats cofounder?Jimmy Iovine is reportedly negotiating with a number of artists to unveil upcoming albums exclusively on Beats Music, hoping to replicate the blockbuster launch of Beyonc?'s eponymous LP on iTunes last year.

Beats Music


Though there is no word on which artists Iovine has approached, he remains one of the most powerful people in the music industry and has long-standing relationships with A-listers like Gwen Stefani and Kanye West. The talks were first noted by the New York Post.

Record labels --?long wary of Apple's market dominance with iTunes --?are said to be pushing back on these proposals, especially as the industry comes to grips with the new reality of subscription-based streaming services replacing album sales.

Working in Iovine's favor is the fact that the iTunes release of Beyonce's "visual album" in December 2013 was an unqualified success. It sold more than 800,000 copies in its first three days of availability, vaulting it to the No. 1 position on music charts in over 100 countries.

Apple is thought to be in the midst of rebuilding and rebranding Beats Music, and a series of major exclusive releases could serve to boost its eventual relaunch. The Post believes that the Dr. Dre-backed streaming service currently sits at approximately 300,000 subscribers, a potentially worrying number as the figure stood at 250,000 in May of this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    I'm hard pressed to see the long term benefit to the Iovine relationship with Apple. The guy is a music industry shark who would be better off on his own packaging deals to offer to Apple (or other bidders, for that matter) and streaming subscriptions are still a very tough nut to crack... Perhaps something that can best be offered as an add-on to satellite radio services?
  • Reply 2 of 71
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,873member
    I'm hard pressed to see the long term benefit to the Iovine relationship with Apple. The guy is a music industry shark who would be better off on his own packaging deals to offer to Apple (or other bidders, for that matter) and streaming subscriptions are still a very tough nut to crack... Perhaps something that can best be offered as an add-on to satellite radio services?

    I must admit I will be following along to see when the ROI occurs. Any guesses on if and when Apple may see that?
  • Reply 3 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Exclusives are a bit of a D move. People should want to use your service because the GUI is more intuitive, or it has the best search function, or it always downloads quickly. Not because they have to, because you're the only one with the album, because you did some deal to stop anyone else getting it.

  • Reply 4 of 71
    I must admit I will be following along to see when the ROI occurs. Any guesses on if and when Apple may see that?

    As far as hardware goes, they'll see profitability fairly soon, I'm guessing. Beats Music subscriptions may never live up to potential. There are many, many options for consumers to consider and Beats Music is just another one.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    . . . The guy is a music industry shark . . .

    That's not obvious from anything I've seen, especially since he seems to be tight with the older guard, which does not suffer fools easily. (Shark = foolish predator.)

    Do you have a link or two to back that up?
  • Reply 6 of 71
    flaneur wrote: »
    That's not obvious from anything I've seen, especially since he seems to be tight with the older guard, which does not suffer fools easily. (Shark = foolish predator.)

    Do you have a link or two to back that up?

    A shark is not foolish. Iovine is more music biz "insider" than anyone.
  • Reply 7 of 71
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    ascii wrote: »
    Exclusives are a bit of a D move. People should want to use your service because the GUI is more intuitive, or it has the best search function, or it always downloads quickly. Not because they have to, because you're the only one with the album, because you did some deal to stop anyone else getting it.

    You've been in the media business for a while then?
  • Reply 8 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    You've been in the media business for a while then?

    No but I have been a consumer for a while, and I was talking about what's best for the consumer not what's best for the media business.

  • Reply 9 of 71
    ascii wrote: »
    Exclusives are a bit of a D move. People should want to use your service because the GUI is more intuitive, or it has the best search function, or it always downloads quickly. Not because they have to, because you're the only one with the album, because you did some deal to stop anyone else getting it.

    Exclusives are a differentiator. That's important when most alternatives are free (there are thousands of sources of free music).
  • Reply 10 of 71
    ascii wrote: »
    Exclusives are a bit of a D move. People should want to use your service because the GUI is more intuitive, or it has the best search function, or it always downloads quickly. Not because they have to, because you're the only one with the album, because you did some deal to stop anyone else getting it.

    I agree. This is all sounds like a classic Microsoftian move to get people to use an otherwise inferior service. I hope it's more than that, but if not, I doubt it will affect Apple's bottom line or affect the HW in any way so I'm pretty 'meh' on anything that happens with the Beats music service.
  • Reply 11 of 71
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Exclusives are a differentiator. That's important when most alternatives are free (there are thousands of sources of free music).



    I get that it's good for Apple, I just think it's a dirty tactic. Others may differ.

  • Reply 12 of 71
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    So those who aren't iTunes users and don't want to be will pirate the content. I fail to see the genius behind this type of arrangement, but then again I'm just a music fan, not a music executive. Apple must be paying up a healthy amount to cover the lost sales.
  • Reply 13 of 71

    i hope he is worth the money. 

  • Reply 14 of 71
    ascii wrote: »

    I get that it's good for Apple, I just think it's a dirty tactic. Others may differ.

    Was it a dirty tactic when AC/DC signed an exclusive with Walmart for their album? Retailers do this all of the time. It's a competitive world.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm hard pressed to see the long term benefit to the Iovine relationship with Apple. The guy is a music industry shark who would be better off on his own packaging deals to offer to Apple (or other bidders, for that matter) and streaming subscriptions are still a very tough nut to crack... Perhaps something that can best be offered as an add-on to satellite radio services?

    On John Gruber's most recent podcast he says he's heard the Beats deal was 100% Eddy Cue. Eddy was the one pushing for it inside Apple. I still don't get this deal. Does Apple really need Jimmy Iovine to move iTunes forward? There's lots Apple needs to do to move iTunes into the 21st century but I don't think exclusive album launches from Iovine's music pals is it. I see that as turning people off more than anything because everyone knows getting exclusives like this is just about exchanging lots of $$$ and Iovine calling in favors from his music pals. It's not the same as apps that are iOS only/first because iOS a better and more profitable platform.
  • Reply 16 of 71
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    A shark is not foolish. Iovine is more music biz "insider" than anyone.

    I forgot about your Objectivist values. You see the shark as the successful individual. I took it as dumb ripper of flesh.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    flaneur wrote: »
    I forgot about your Objectivist values. You see the shark as the successful individual. I took it as dumb ripper of flesh.

    Ever heard of the TV show "Shark Tank"? In business, a shark is a fearsome predator, someone you don't screw around with because they will destroy you.
  • Reply 18 of 71
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

    You see the shark as the successful individual.

     

    Well, there is a reason sharks haven’t meaningfully changed shape in several hundred million years.

  • Reply 19 of 71
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Exclusives are a differentiator. That's important when most alternatives are free (there are thousands of sources of free music).

    I'm fine if it's exclusives for the right reasons (i.e.the platform is better). How about Iovine use his connections to get great artists to help curate iTunes (and any subscription music service Apple is working on). IMO album exclusives is easy when you have Iovine's connections and Apple's bank account. I hope Apple is working on something more interesting and unique than that.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'm fine if it's exclusives for the right reasons (i.e.the platform is better). How about Iovine use his connections to get great artists to help curate iTunes (and any subscription music service Apple is working on). IMO album exclusives is easy when you have Iovine's connections and Apple's bank account. I hope Apple is working on something more interesting and unique than that.

    You'd be better off hiring DJs with great taste in music to curate, which is what Beats Music already does.
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