Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine defends paid-only model, claims free tier would have 400M users...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited May 2017
In an interview published this week, Beats co-founder and Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine raised vocal opposition to the concept of "free" music, simultaneously arguing that if Apple had a free tier like Spotify, it would "have 400 million people on it."




"The fact is that 'free' in music streaming is so technically good and ubiquitous that it's stunting the growth of paid streaming," Iovine said to Music Business Worldwide. "It blew my mind that the day after I walked out on stage [to announce Apple Music at WWDC in 2015], YouTube mobile was licensed."

Iovine complained that many musicians believe there's little money in recorded music, and in some cases are using it solely for promotion, willing to make sacrifices simply to get exposure and sell concert tickets and merchandise.

"But we believe artists should get paid. That's why I went to Apple," he remarked. "Artists are getting screwed. Period. I don't see how anybody stands behind it. It's all of our responsibility to change it."

The executive claimed that he's put his money where his mouth is, keeping free tiers out of both Apple Music and its predecessor, Beats Music.

"I'm not just talking it; I'm walking it. That's why I aligned with Eddy [Cue] and Tim [Cook] and Steve [Jobs]. They thought the same way. I think what's going on is wrong. I just do. I don't care if saying that makes me seem behind-the-times, up-with-the-times, young, old... I don't care! Because, whatever it is, it's wrong."

Iovine further argued that "people who pay for subscriptions should be advantaged." This is part of the reason behind Apple's recent push into original video content -- the company is readying shows like "Carpool Karaoke" and "Planet of the Apps," as well as a slate of documentaries and other exclusives.

Spotify remains well ahead of Apple Music in subscribers, with over 50 million paid customers versus Apple's 20 million. There are likely many more people on Spotify's ad-based free tier, but the company hasn't publicly updated those statistics since June 2016.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,680member
    Thank the Internet for raising a whole new generation of entitled freeloaders that think everything should be free.
    calimobirdboltsfan17radarthekattokyojimuMetriacanthosauruscornchip
  • Reply 2 of 33
    sbutlersbutler Posts: 2member
    Apple Music will stay small if it doesn't offer a free tier as it isn't just competing with Spotify, but the long history of free (over the air) radio stations. Sure there are advantages to paying and advantages to Apple Music and Spotify, but for many people in the world who like, but don't LOVE music, that is often good enough and they will never see the value in paying for something that has been free (on the radio) for longer than they can remember.
    jony0
  • Reply 3 of 33
    iTunes Match has obviated my need for streaming, or, often, new music in general. I have too much classic (punk), obscure, ripped vinyl to enjoy.
    edited May 2017 bonobobMuntz
  • Reply 4 of 33
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 329member
    Radio has been free as long as there has been radio.  The entire concept of paid radio is a new rent-seeking behavior.  I see no reason to encourage it.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 33
    cassherncasshern Posts: 10member
    They should allow free 1 play embedding on social media etc. Without that people have to use youtube or bandcamp or soundcloud. It would increase the brand awareness, and make it actually useful to share a song from apple music
    Roger_Fingasireland
  • Reply 6 of 33
    rainmakerrainmaker Posts: 30member
    darkvader said:
    Radio has been free as long as there has been radio.  The entire concept of paid radio is a new rent-seeking behavior.  I see no reason to encourage it.
    Radio has never been free. While you may not have ever written a check to a radio station, you certainly pay with your time listening to ads. I am quite happy to pay for Apple Music to avoid ads.
    SpamSandwichcalimobirduraharaboltsfan17jony0irelandbrucemcdesignrrandominternetperson
  • Reply 7 of 33
    glynhglynh Posts: 132member
    iTunes Match has obviated my need for streaming, or, often, new music in general. I have to much classic (punk), obscure, ripped vinyl to enjoy.
    iTunes Match frightened me away from any Apple Music service after it completely screwed up my carefully curated music library and confused the hell out of me as to where my music was actually stored!
    caliking editor the grate
  • Reply 8 of 33
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,273member
    Well let's not getting into artists getting screwed lest we wish to take a look at how much the typical gets from a CD sale and 
    who owns the Master. 

    Freetards are being ridiculous and so is the industry (Apple was correct in that a monthly subscription for Music should be roughly $5 per month based on the annual avg of music sales in dollars per user) 

    I understand why Netflix is seeking more money than $10 a month ...producing and distributing long form video content is expensive ..far more expensive than music. 
    caliMuntzradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Undoubtedly, AppleMusic would have far more subscribers if it had a free tier. However, I don't see how free tiers hurt artists if there are paid ads involved. Doesn't money from the ads go to artists for the same percentage? I had always thought the streaming company just didn't get as much money. It's a shame Wall Street doesn't see it the same way as Apple. The boasting is always about how many overall subscribers there are and that seems to matter more than how profitable a streaming company is. I would think it's better for a company to have a smaller number of subscribers and making profits from those fewer subscribers than having a huge number of subscribers yet losing money.  With Wall Street, it's always about major market share percentage and AppleMusic always comes up short of Spotify (likely forever).

    I don't see anything wrong with AppleMusic not having a free tier if that's how they want to do it. I'm not sure why any company wants to support freeloaders especially if their profitability is low. All that free streaming costs a company money if they haven't balanced it with enough paid ads. I'm an occasional freeloader with both Spotify and Pandora.  I don't mind listening to ads as I only use either service a few hours every month during the winter months. If either of those companies stopped the free tier, I wouldn't be crying foul. Companies should charge enough for services to at least survive. That's far more important than a free tier, in my opinion. I consider music streaming services fees very modest, especially if you're using it a lot.

    There's also those free internet stations that sometimes plays nonstop music.  Maybe they're hosted by individuals and they give you a lot of music and not much in the way of commercial ads.  Occasionally I'll find a decent free internet station and listen to that for a couple of hours.  Even if the quality isn't all that good, I don't mind considering I grew up listening to non-stereo AM radio back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 10 of 33
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 237member
    Many people are already paying for Amazon Prime... There is a lot of worth there.

    Part of that is music streaming, and that works for me rather than Apple Music, yet another monthly fee.

      
    yanimac
  • Reply 11 of 33
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    sbutler said:
    Apple Music will stay small if it doesn't offer a free tier as it isn't just competing with Spotify, but the long history of free (over the air) radio stations. Sure there are advantages to paying and advantages to Apple Music and Spotify, but for many people in the world who like, but don't LOVE music, that is often good enough and they will never see the value in paying for something that has been free (on the radio) for longer than they can remember.
    You know that is a great point. I always looked at streaming services as skipping the ASCAP/BMI royalty system, but you're right. For the new generations who did not grow up with the radio the only source to hear free music. I mean with the radio you don't own anything too. 

    But, here's the distinction. Whether this will be enough to change anything I don't know but here goes:

    with the radio, you have no say over whats played and when it's played. To not experience that annoyance we would go purchase a tape or cassette so we could control our listening experience. Another reason for buying the album over the radio playing was no commercials. A constant stream of never ending commercials. 

    Ok that said...

    so with streaming it can be FREE but if you want to have the option to play things when you want to play things then that should be a fee, because at that point it's the same as if you went out and bought the CD itself so you could program what you want to listening to. 

    And creating playlists?  Yeah we called that "cassettes". You bought the product then you copied just those songs YOU wanted to hear AND because it was a copy of things you bought you could mix and match artists.on your custom made cassette. 

    Recap:
    FREE: the ability to not choose what you hear or when it's played if ever (a.k.a.radio) that should be free because commercials are paying your fee

    PAID:
    You buy the songs then you can make playoffs to Customize your listening experience. 

    We are a record company. I do not have a problem with this designation of whats qualifies as "free" what qualifies "paid" using this description,  but using the "radio (no say on the music)" vs "purchase" (customize your experience) that would be a good starting point. 

    Anyone not wanting to pay at that point is just a person who thinks they are entitled. 

    Thanks again to sbuttler for giving me a new way to see this
    edited May 2017 radarthekatrandominternetperson
  • Reply 12 of 33
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 328member
    I told my 16yr old daughter that if she thinks music should be free... Than I think she should babysit for free.... Ended that debate.
    edited May 2017 MuntzSoliradarthekattokyojimumr o
  • Reply 13 of 33
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,293member
    sflocal said:
    Thank the Internet for raising a whole new generation of entitled freeloaders that think everything should be free.
    That entitlement which was designed to benefit science was exploited to trillions by corporations in subsidies to try and make money. We're entitled some freebies. You're bitching on a free site.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    400 million users. Wouldn't that be a disaster for Apple? All those people exposed to Apple's products and branding on a daily basis. Advertiser supported music has never worked. Just asked the radio broadcasters.
    brucemc
  • Reply 15 of 33
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 237member
    grangerfx said:
    400 million users. Wouldn't that be a disaster for Apple? All those people exposed to Apple's products and branding on a daily basis. Advertiser supported music has never worked. Just asked the radio broadcasters.
    Perhaps Apple should make it free for whatever portion of the 400 million users with a newer iPhone or Mac... that would keep some buying. Have a fee for 3-year and older phones and OSs.


  • Reply 16 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,162member
    What part of “FREE” do the freeloaders not get? There is no such thing as free anything. Somebody pays for everything. You pay for “free” music in a number of ways, like advertising, like giving up your data, like higher prices for stuff you do pay for to offset the “free” stuff.
    Muntzradarthekatdesignr
  • Reply 17 of 33
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    rainmaker said:
    darkvader said:
    Radio has been free as long as there has been radio.  The entire concept of paid radio is a new rent-seeking behavior.  I see no reason to encourage it.
    Radio has never been free. While you may not have ever written a check to a radio station, you certainly pay with your time listening to ads. I am quite happy to pay for Apple Music to avoid ads.


    Its free for intents and purposes. Im not a music aficionado as a lot people are and they gladly pay for streaming... I presume.  For me, Im ok to not pay Apple or another service when I can use another free radio app, turn on a radio/change a channel etc or just 'purchase' the song out right(yes Im old school).   Plus-- Im just sick of monthly fees, have too many already. 

    Didn't radio use to be a 'promotion' vehicle for 'poor artist'? Didn't they pay to play?

    IMO there are millions that will not sigh up for paid service but would listen to an ad supported Apple service(like before). Apple not offering the 'ad supported radio' service in order to pay artists seems sketchy. Is he admitting Apple is manipulating a 'market' (ie their customers) in the attempt to 'make fair' a perceived unfairness?

     

  • Reply 18 of 33
    yanimacyanimac Posts: 22member
    Apple should at least give us some music plan when we pay for iCloud services. At least with my Amazon Prime account I get a music plan.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    MuntzMuntz Posts: 26member
    sflocal said:
    Thank the Internet for raising a whole new generation of entitled freeloaders that think everything should be free.
    That entitlement which was designed to benefit science was exploited to trillions by corporations in subsidies to try and make money. We're entitled some freebies. You're bitching on a free site.
    So any musicians you know shouldn't get paid? Would love to see how well you do supporting yourself with a music career in this environment. 
  • Reply 20 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,653member
    casshern said:
    They should allow free 1 play embedding on social media etc. Without that people have to use youtube or bandcamp or soundcloud. It would increase the brand awareness, and make it actually useful to share a song from apple music
    That's a smart idea.

    Outside of this, a fully free subscription option is ruining the music industry. It's one more reason why music has gone to shit—only a select number of answer make money these days. It's tough out there without time for artists to grow spiritually and take a year or two out to write a classic album.
    edited May 2017 command_f
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