“When you first sit down with Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine in the living room of his Holmby Hills home, he asks if you want tea,” Andrew Barker reports for Variety. “It seems like an automatic sort of pleasantry, but several minutes later he asks again. On the third refusal, he takes matters into his own hands and picks up his house phone, saying, ‘Look, I’m just gonna get you a tea anyway.’ A housekeeper brings the two cups, and he looks on, studying your reaction.”

“After a few sips, he stops to explain the recipe,” Barker reports. “‘It’s basically steamed almond milk, vanilla, and then green tea we get from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf,’ he says. ‘But then we took the recipe and kinda f–-ked with it a little bit. It’s pretty good, huh?'”

“The tea is, in fact, pretty good, and Iovine’s enthusiasm for it is instructive. A green tea latte is not a new innovation, but neither is a record company, a pair of headphones, a Bruce Springsteen album, nor a music streaming site,” Barker reports. “But whatever the subject, Iovine almost always manages to find some connective thread back to Apple Music and his vision for turning the company into one that holistically blends the fundamentally entwined yet oft incompatible worlds of Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry.”

Apple's Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre., and Eddy Cue (left to right)

Apple’s Jimmy Iovine, Tim Cook, Dr. Dre., and Eddy Cue (left to right)

“In 2016, Apple Music doubled its subscriber base from 10 million to 20 million users, each paying a base fee of $10 per month,” Barker reports. “Five of the albums to reach No. 1 on the weekly Billboard album chart last year debuted exclusively on Apple Music, including the year’s best-seller, Drake’s ‘Views,’ which topped the chart for 13 weeks.”

“A fierce proponent of the paid subscription model for streaming, Iovine faults changes in chart methodology that give the same weight to all streams — paid and free — in tallying the top albums and singles. ‘A free stream shouldn’t be weighted the same as a paid stream — I don’t think there’s a sane person in the world, other than a promotion man, who would advocate that,’ he says. ‘And that is one of the many things that someone has to fix in order for the whole thing to move forward,'” Barker reports. “He continues: ‘A chart that weighs some ad-supported streams the same as a pay stream …encourages artists to promote free tiers to have a No. 1 record. That’s great for the tech companies, but not for artists.'”

Tons more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tell us more about that tea.

BTW, it’s not 20 million subscribers paying $10 ($9.99) per month. Many, like most of us here at MDN, are paying $14.99/month for up to six people (that’s as little as $2.50 per subscriber) or are students paying $4.99/month.

As we wrote last February on the occasion of Apple Music surpassing 11 million paying members:

Apple Music launched in over 100 countries. That’s an average of fewer than 110,000 subscribers per country since last June. Maybe there just aren’t that many true music lovers out there? It seems like most people are happy enough to be music dabblers for the price of free, even among well-heeled Apple users.

Apple Music surpasses 20 million paid members 17 months after launch – December 6, 2016
Apple offers students half-price $4.99 Apple Music subscriptions starting today – May 6, 2016