Apple getting more aggressive with Apple Music deal-making after Jimmy Iovine's 'retiremen...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple's potential deal with iHeartMedia is part of more aggressive moves by the company to grow Apple Music, with the change in leadership for the streaming music service seen by music executives to have prompted the iPhone producer to increase its efforts to work with record labels.

Apple Music


Apple is reported to be considering investment in the struggling iHeartMedia, which is seeking a way to manage over $20 billion in debt. The potential investment may not necessarily be a standard acquisition of shares, and instead could lead to the major U.S. radio broadcaster promoting Apple Music, or even Apple's Beats 1 digital station being brought to traditional radio.

The talks with iHeartMedia is part of Apple's recent attempts to find new ways to broaden its audience, reports the Financial Times, in a shift in the way the company operates the division over the last year. The shift has been noticed by music executives dealing with the company, with Apple making strides in altering how it works with third parties.

"Apple stumbled out of the gate with an inferior product three years ago," one unnamed senior executive of a "big three" record label advises on Apple Music's relatively late arrival to the music streaming marketplace. "Apple Music did not become this spectacular product like iTunes was."

The executive conceded that there had been changes in the way Apple worked in the last year, becoming "more aggressive" with its dealings. "They're getting more serious," the executive admits, continuing "they're coming to us with new ideas all the time, that they wouldn't have done two years ago."

Though only months ago, the change from Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine being in control of Apple Music to a consulting role in August, as well as the installment of Oliver Schusser as the Apple Music lead and hiring of Brian Bumbery as head of Apple Music publicity, is already being observed by the rest of the industry.

"There's definitely a changing of the guard," advised a music label executive, noting the shift from the former high-cost strategy of gaining exclusive releases from major artists favored by Iovine in favor of other ideas.

Apple's motives to change its Apple Music strategies is in part to help it compete against Spotify, its main competitor in the music streaming market. While Apple Music has managed to seize a sizable portion of the market, with it estimated to have overtaken its rival in terms of paid customers in North America, Spotify still has the considerably larger audience of 191 million users in total and 87 million paid subscribers as of the start of November.

Potential deals such as the one with iHeartMedia may help Apple Music grow further, with people familiar with the negotiations suggesting both investment and promotional partnership options are under consideration.

It is also suggested Apple may want to acquire iHeartRadio's streaming platform, which currently has 120 million registered users. Citing "terrestrial radio is not the force it once was," one music executive suggests the radio listeners will "inevitably migrate to online services," and Apple could certainly herd them in its direction.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Wish there would be a Beats 2 and 3 in the digital world...
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    So, basically both Jimmy Iovine and Dre were completely worthless as executives at Apple. I think WE all knew this before Apple did.
    n2itivguydavgreglmacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    So, basically both Jimmy Iovine and Dre were completely worthless as executives at Apple. I think WE all knew this before Apple did.
    Maybe THEY did, but the overall deal was still sweet enough and contractually had to keep them some time. 

    All speculation. 
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    payecopayeco Posts: 205member
    razorpit said:
    Wish there would be a Beats 2 and 3 in the digital world...
    I agree. I’d like to see a line up similar to the BBC Radio lineup.
    n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Still blows my mind that Apple paid $3B for Jimmy Iovine. Moronic.
    davgreg
  • Reply 6 of 13
    You can’t paint a turd, and iHeart is a turd.  AKA a badly run company that drove out all their best talent that went across the street and became their biggest blunders.  This next to being too top heavy paying way too many family and friend executives at the top crazy bonuses and ultimately bankrupting the company otherwise know as Clear Channel.

    Their are are far better smaller radio companies that could all be bought out for their brands and talent and combining would bring much better return for Apple.

    In the radio business no one with any great talent works for iHeart, if they can help it.
    edited November 30 lostkiwirogifan_newwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,857member
    Meh. That’s my reaction to all these stories about streaming.

    I never liked radio much and it became absolute garbage before I was 20. I’ve heard about the business from the father of an ex of mine. He was the last free-format DJ for a major radio station in my region. He ended up being driven out because they wanted his slot to be fully programmed. Since then, he has volunteered to do his show at a well-liked college radio station just to keep playing music for people in his own way (he even has fans). It’s mostly not my kind of music but he does a very good job. He only talks about the music, and only for a short time between sets.

    Radio historically bothered me with poor sound quality, the presence of commercials (and they’ve become more than 50% of the airtime), the selection of music, and just the overall feeling of not being in control of the experience. 

    I similarly do not like streaming services. I don’t understand people who do. The people I observe who like these things seem to be entirely passive about their music listening experience. Is that an accurate observation of the average subscriber of these things?

    I presume they are people who don’t have their own collections of music. Fair enough.

    It goes downhill from there, though. The physically-published musicians I pay attention to have complained that today’s mass market of listeners don’t care to listen to albums. I’ve seen that few people care about sound quality (everyone in my family) and most don’t mind listening to advertising and being out of control of the experience. I’d risk suggesting most people aren’t really into music for music’s sake, and nearly want to fill up silence... but people seem to get upset with that because it sounds like elitism or something.

    I’ve never identified with any mass-market, any fad, or other traits of majority populations, so I guess this is just yet another realm that will remain irrelevant and not understood to me. It’s a bit like watching people obsess over sports and seeing the insane amount of money involved behind the scenes.
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 13
    a better investment would be TuneIn Radio, but anti-trust clearance might be tough.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    lmaclmac Posts: 160member
    demitod said:
    You can’t paint a turd, and iHeart is a turd.  AKA a badly run company that drove out all their best talent that went across the street and became their biggest blunders.  This next to being too top heavy paying way too many family and friend executives at the top crazy bonuses and ultimately bankrupting the company otherwise know as Clear Channel.

    Their are are far better smaller radio companies that could all be bought out for their brands and talent and combining would bring much better return for Apple.

    In the radio business no one with any great talent works for iHeart, if they can help it.
    You can totally paint a turd. It's called Apple Music.
    demitod
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Iovine and Dre (especially now his #metoo problems) were worthless as execs and just had offices, staff and expense accounts. Could they even make 'better deals' than Eddie? Ahrendts is also an exec that has shown little for her lengthy time at Apple. The stores aren't any better when she took over. The products on display no longer have apps that work correctly. Used to be they were set up with trial accounts so you see how the apps work. The ugly brown furniture and trees in the stores add little value.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 13
    dysamoria said:
    Meh. That’s my reaction to all these stories about streaming.

    I never liked radio much and it became absolute garbage before I was 20. I’ve heard about the business from the father of an ex of mine. He was the last free-format DJ for a major radio station in my region. He ended up being driven out because they wanted his slot to be fully programmed. Since then, he has volunteered to do his show at a well-liked college radio station just to keep playing music for people in his own way (he even has fans). It’s mostly not my kind of music but he does a very good job. He only talks about the music, and only for a short time between sets.

    Radio historically bothered me with poor sound quality, the presence of commercials (and they’ve become more than 50% of the airtime), the selection of music, and just the overall feeling of not being in control of the experience. 

    I similarly do not like streaming services. I don’t understand people who do. The people I observe who like these things seem to be entirely passive about their music listening experience. Is that an accurate observation of the average subscriber of these things?

    I presume they are people who don’t have their own collections of music. Fair enough.

    It goes downhill from there, though. The physically-published musicians I pay attention to have complained that today’s mass market of listeners don’t care to listen to albums. I’ve seen that few people care about sound quality (everyone in my family) and most don’t mind listening to advertising and being out of control of the experience. I’d risk suggesting most people aren’t really into music for music’s sake, and nearly want to fill up silence... but people seem to get upset with that because it sounds like elitism or something.

    I’ve never identified with any mass-market, any fad, or other traits of majority populations, so I guess this is just yet another realm that will remain irrelevant and not understood to me. It’s a bit like watching people obsess over sports and seeing the insane amount of money involved behind the scenes.
    Wow. Thanks for sharing?? ....
    demitodcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    Until Apple Music starts supporting independent artists it’s always gonna be behind Spotify. The good thing is AM try’s to pay artists more then Spotify
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13
    apophis said:
    Iovine and Dre (especially now his #metoo problems) were worthless as execs and just had offices, staff and expense accounts. Could they even make 'better deals' than Eddie? Ahrendts is also an exec that has shown little for her lengthy time at Apple. The stores aren't any better when she took over. The products on display no longer have apps that work correctly. Used to be they were set up with trial accounts so you see how the apps work. The ugly brown furniture and trees in the stores add little value.
    Apple Music has done very very well. It certainly is far more profitable than Spotify. Apple Stores are also doing well.
    watto_cobra
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