Jimmy Iovine spent excessively as Apple Music head, current service growth slowing, report...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
A profile of Apple Music chief Oliver Schusser includes claims that his predecessor, Jimmy Iovine, spent "excessive amounts of money," and adds that while the service is still growing faster than Spotify, that pace has slowed.

The Apple-funded video for Drake'sThe Apple-funded video for Drake's "Hotline Bling."


Multiple people within Apple Music thought Iovine was spending too much cash on exclusives, music videos and documentaries, according to Billboard sources. Before his 2018 departure a "rift" reportedly arose between "Apple traditionalists" and Iovine's followers, a situation that is only now resolving itself under Schusser's leadership.

Under Iovine the company was aggressive about securing exclusives from artists like Drake, Taylor Swift and Chance the Rapper, and funding music videos like Drake's "Hotline Bling." Many of the documentaries on Apple Music are effectively native advertising, but have also included less biased titles like "808" or "Bang! The Bert Berns Story."

Schusser is reportedly responsible for some of the major shifts in Apple Music since summer 2018, such as ending Connect, breaking out of a yearly app update cycle, launching Top 100 charts and adding more personalized playlists. He was also behind the push to add support for Alexa devices, and urging Verizon to offer the service free with some unlimited plans.

On the service's growth, Billboard said that "its momentum has slowed somewhat," even if it's still accelerating quicker than Spotify both in the U.S. and abroad, as well as dominating the market in the U.S. and Japan. The magazine cited "sources with knowledge of both companies" without offering precise figures.

Globally, Apple Music has topped 60 million paid subscribers, although that's well behind Spotify's 100 million, and the latter company has even more people listening on its free ad-based tier.

"We just want to be the best; that doesn't have to be the biggest," Schusser said in response.

The executive also defended Apple's mix of curation and algorithms for playlists, arguing that the company has "a responsibility to our subscribers and our customers to have people recommend what a playlist should look like and who the future superstars are." Spotify puts a stronger emphasis on algorithms, which can deliver fresh content faster, for instance through its personalized "Made for You" and "Release Radar" lists.

Apple is "actively looking" at increasing the use of personalized playlists, Schusser said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,398unconfirmed, member
    Hate Jimmy all you want but he's one of the most successful record label execs in history and knows wtf he's doing.

    I think his money was well spent and now I understand why Apple Music has had less buzz and excitement lately.
    JWSCcornchipchasmdasanman69jony0
  • Reply 2 of 44
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    Apple Music needs work in its GUI.
    The services are largely interchangeable, the best GUI and value for money will win.
    edited July 25 martinxyzrogifan_newapplesnorangesmobirduraharamacky the mackymacgui
  • Reply 3 of 44
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    entropys said:
    Apple Music needs work in its GUI.
    The services are largely interchangeable, the best GUI and value for money will win.
    What's wrong with the GUI? I can find nothing to complain about.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,332member
    Who. Could’ve. POSSIBLY. Seen. That. Coming?

    Everyone connected to Beats is a scumbag and Apple should also drop the whole “by Dre” thing... And get some real audio engineers in that company. I just leased a new car with Beats built-in audio system and it sounds like shit. My previous car had built-in Fender audio and it was tremendous.
    macplusplusgutengeldavgregchemengin1
  • Reply 5 of 44
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,270member
    Who. Could’ve. POSSIBLY. Seen. That. Coming?

    Everyone connected to Beats is a scumbag [...]
    Source?
    cornchipAppleExposedurahara
  • Reply 6 of 44
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    slurpy said:
    entropys said:
    Apple Music needs work in its GUI.
    The services are largely interchangeable, the best GUI and value for money will win.
    What's wrong with the GUI? I can find nothing to complain about.
    Well at least for me, I find it unintuitive, or at least more of a rigmarole than it could be to make playlists, discover music, or even differentiate between my library and streamed stuff.  Siri always defaults to Apple Music. Maybe it’s the Ive interface restrictions, bu it should be simpler than it is. 
    I find Spotify easier to use, but I have gone with Apple Music for the integration across devices across the family.
    edited July 25 elijahgrogifan_newapplesnorangesuraharachemengin1oirudleahcim
  • Reply 7 of 44
    slurpy said:
    entropys said:
    Apple Music needs work in its GUI.
    The services are largely interchangeable, the best GUI and value for money will win.
    What's wrong with the GUI? I can find nothing to complain about.
    It's just not very good. So much is missing. When I listen to music on Apple music, I'd like to see a bio of the artist. Some have it, many don't. Searching for music doesn't seem to be able to gloss over misspellings or alternative spellings - this is basic stuff that Google solved decades ago in search. Sharing playlists seems like an afterthought whereas with Spotify it's front and centre. I could go on, but suffice to say that the GUI experience with Apple Music seems very flat, and the world has moved on from that.
    elijahgrogifan_newAppleExposedRoger_Fingasimatchemengin1SpamSandwichuraharaoirudleahcim
  • Reply 8 of 44
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,197member
    Everyone connected to Beats is a scumbag…
    Everyone would include Tim Cook and everyone else working for Apple.
    AppleExposedJWSC
  • Reply 9 of 44
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 989member
    The whole music app's GUI isn't great. It is quite a bit better in iOS 13 however. The Airplay UI is pretty clunky still, especially since they shoehorned in the ability to control currently playing devices - which is great, but needs a better implementation. Maybe a grid of playing devices rather than having to scroll through a linear list. But I digress..

    My main complaint with Apple Music is its algorithm isn't anywhere near as good as Spotify's imo. When Siri is shuffling with music that I'll apparently like, there're two problems: one being a lack of new music, second is when it does insert new music it isn't remotely similar to music already in my library. More often than not it ends up with "Hey Siri, skip this". The "new music mix" is generally terrible and weighted toward pop crap which I don't like, and have none of in my library. It knows I don't like pop/hip hop, I've told it enough times, and yet it still pushes it over and over. Friends who have had both Spotify and Apple music seem to prefer Spotify's algorithm, which may be part of the reason people aren't taking up Apple Music quite as they were.

    The curated playlists on Apple music are great, but again they're weighted strongly toward hip-hop, R&B and pop stuff and even the slightly less popular genres have a very limited number of curated playlists to choose from. For example, the "throwback" section of Apple Music has 21 playlists, 12 of those are "pop."

    Not sure Iovine has had much to do with the highly computer sciencey art of algorithm writing, and there doesn't seem to be that much to show for the money he's apparently spent.
    edited July 25 rogifan_newmacplusplusimatSpamSandwichoirudleahcim
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Tried Apple Music for a year. The poor, repetitive playlists made me go back to Spotify. I want Apple Music to be successful, being part of an ecosystem I’m already heavily invested in, but for my tastes, the playlists suck.
    elijahgrogifan_newpaisleydiscoIreneWchemengin1oirudleahcim
  • Reply 11 of 44
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,153member
    And I’ll go on record again saying I think the Beats acquisition was dumb. Beats headphones are a blip on Apple’s financials and they got nothing out of Iovine, Dre or Reznor (none of whom are even working at Apple now). The existing iTunes team could have set up Apple Music and probably done a better job than the Beats team. 
    davgregchemengin17omrelijahgoirudleahcim
  • Reply 12 of 44
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,108member
    entropys said:

    differentiate between my library and streamed stuff.
    Why would you need to?

    Maybe it’s the Ive interface restrictions,

    What makes you think Ive had anything at all to do with the design of the Music app, much less "interface restrictions"?
  • Reply 13 of 44
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,888member
    elijahg said:
    The whole music app's GUI isn't great. It is quite a bit better in iOS 13 however. The Airplay UI is pretty clunky still, especially since they shoehorned in the ability to control currently playing devices - which is great, but needs a better implementation. Maybe a grid of playing devices rather than having to scroll through a linear list. But I digress..

    My main complaint with Apple Music is its algorithm isn't anywhere near as good as Spotify's imo. When Siri is shuffling with music that I'll apparently like, there're two problems: one being a lack of new music, second is when it does insert new music it isn't remotely similar to music already in my library. More often than not it ends up with "Hey Siri, skip this". The "new music mix" is generally terrible and weighted toward pop crap which I don't like, and have none of in my library. It knows I don't like pop/hip hop, I've told it enough times, and yet it still pushes it over and over. Friends who have had both Spotify and Apple music seem to prefer Spotify's algorithm, which may be part of the reason people aren't taking up Apple Music quite as they were.

    The curated playlists on Apple music are great, but again they're weighted strongly toward hip-hop, R&B and pop stuff and even the slightly less popular genres have a very limited number of curated playlists to choose from. For example, the "throwback" section of Apple Music has 21 playlists, 12 of those are "pop."

    Not sure Iovine has had much to do with the highly computer sciencey art of algorithm writing, and there doesn't seem to be that much to show for the money he's apparently spent.
    Playlists are for consumers, not for music enthusiasts, IMVHO. As such it doesn’t matter which one is better, Apple’s or Stupify’s, curated or robotic. I personally take Apple Music as a huge repository of world music, where I find what I look for almost every time. Suggestions in search results are more important for me than ready-made playlists or radio or alike. I can always find my way by following Apple Music’s search results and suggestions.
    edited July 25 applesnorangesmobird
  • Reply 14 of 44
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,649member
    dysamoria said:
    Who. Could’ve. POSSIBLY. Seen. That. Coming?

    Everyone connected to Beats is a scumbag [...]
    Source?
    His ass.
    JWSCfastasleep
  • Reply 15 of 44
    irelandireland Posts: 17,659member
    martinxyz said:
    slurpy said:
    entropys said:
    Apple Music needs work in its GUI.
    The services are largely interchangeable, the best GUI and value for money will win.
    What's wrong with the GUI? I can find nothing to complain about.
    It's just not very good. So much is missing. When I listen to music on Apple music, I'd like to see a bio of the artist. Some have it, many don't. Searching for music doesn't seem to be able to gloss over misspellings or alternative spellings - this is basic stuff that Google solved decades ago in search. Sharing playlists seems like an afterthought whereas with Spotify it's front and centre. I could go on, but suffice to say that the GUI experience with Apple Music seems very flat, and the world has moved on from that.
     Give Apple feedback on these specifics.
    edited July 26 mobird
  • Reply 16 of 44
    mobirdmobird Posts: 222member
    Hate Jimmy all you want but he's one of the most successful record label execs in history and knows wtf he's doing.

    I think his money was well spent and now I understand why Apple Music has had less buzz and excitement lately.
    Iovine doesn't even begin to get close to Ahmet Ertegun, Mo Austin, and Clive Davis regarding "most successful record label execs". I agree with Macplusplus regarding Playlist as well. Playlist to me are for the lazy. People should listen to the entire album instead of looking for the "hits", it is so much more enjoyable.
    And one more thing, all the comments above regarding what Music is in need of are spot on, I don't understand why Apple who always spouted about music being in it's "DNA" allows for such an anemic experience.
    edited July 26 davgregAppleExposedFileMakerFelleroirudleahcim
  • Reply 17 of 44
    Just another spreadsheet guy takes an important command post position within Apple. The company is increasingly focused exclusively on Wall Street.
    FileMakerFellerelijahgoirudleahcim
  • Reply 18 of 44
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 166member
    elijahg said:
    The whole music app's GUI isn't great. It is quite a bit better in iOS 13 however. The Airplay UI is pretty clunky still, especially since they shoehorned in the ability to control currently playing devices - which is great, but needs a better implementation. Maybe a grid of playing devices rather than having to scroll through a linear list. But I digress..

    My main complaint with Apple Music is its algorithm isn't anywhere near as good as Spotify's imo. When Siri is shuffling with music that I'll apparently like, there're two problems: one being a lack of new music, second is when it does insert new music it isn't remotely similar to music already in my library. More often than not it ends up with "Hey Siri, skip this". The "new music mix" is generally terrible and weighted toward pop crap which I don't like, and have none of in my library. It knows I don't like pop/hip hop, I've told it enough times, and yet it still pushes it over and over. Friends who have had both Spotify and Apple music seem to prefer Spotify's algorithm, which may be part of the reason people aren't taking up Apple Music quite as they were.

    The curated playlists on Apple music are great, but again they're weighted strongly toward hip-hop, R&B and pop stuff and even the slightly less popular genres have a very limited number of curated playlists to choose from. For example, the "throwback" section of Apple Music has 21 playlists, 12 of those are "pop."

    Not sure Iovine has had much to do with the highly computer sciencey art of algorithm writing, and there doesn't seem to be that much to show for the money he's apparently spent.
    Playlists are for consumers, not for music enthusiasts, IMVHO. As such it doesn’t matter which one is better, Apple’s or Stupify’s, curated or robotic. I personally take Apple Music as a huge repository of world music, where I find what I look for almost every time. Suggestions in search results are more important for me than ready-made playlists or radio or alike. I can always find my way by following Apple Music’s search results and suggestions.
    Good playlists are definitely for enthusiasts, that's how we find new music to enjoy and explore deeper. The lists may be from friends (who knows your preferences), from music magazines (whose writers you trust) or from great algorithms fed with millions of users daily listening.

    I don't personally find Spotify's lists flawless, but they are far better than Apple's.
    Solielijahgoirudleahcim
  • Reply 19 of 44
    Make a joke like this here, PR, it's cheaper and it's fine. More money is left for Wall Street speculators.

    edited July 26
  • Reply 20 of 44
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 430member
    When I read "artists like Drake, Taylor Swift and Chance the Rapper" I just about hurled. 

    Not an "artist" among them. Performers yes, artists hardly.

    As to Jimmy Bovine (spelling intentional), have him pick up a guitar or sit at a piano and show us his chops. He was and is a hanger-on.

    What a waste of money.
    elijahg
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