“Beats Electronics has done a very good job at making expensive headphones a mass-market item. And that’s what makes them a good candidate to crack open the music subscription business, says CEO Jimmy Iovine,” Peter Kafka reports for AllThingsD.

On early efforts to get into the subscription business, and pitching former Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the concept:

I always felt that our content was really valuable, and that it could help the tech guys with differentiation. The tech companies really didn’t see that. The guy that smelled it the most was Steve, obviously… So I met him and we hit it off right away. We were really close. We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod — we did a lot of stuff together. But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away. [Beats co-founder] Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it. He was there, not there … he didn’t want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually. I don’t know what [Apple media head] Eddy Cue would say — I’m seeing him soon — but I think in the end Steve was feeling it, but the economics …he wanted to pay the labels [for subscriptions], but [the fees were] not going to be acceptable to them.

More from Iovine in the full article here.