“Apple is reportedly acquiring Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre said to be taking senior roles at the company,” Dan Lyons writes for Billboard. “Since Jobs’ death, nearly three years ago, Apple has grown risk averse. Its growth has stalled. Tim Cook, the handpicked successor, is a smart number cruncher, but he’s no Steve Jobs.”
“Iovine may not be either, but he’s closer than you might think. The two have a lot in common. Both were scrappy working-class kids whose success came not from family pedigree or an Ivy League school but from talent and chutzpah,” Lyons writes. “In 2002, Iovine was instrumental in helping Jobs persuade five top music labels to sign on to the iTunes Store, according to Walter Isaacson, Jobs’ biographer. Iovine was running Interscope Geffen A&M, part of Universal Music Group (the job he still holds). In 2004, Iovine helped Jobs broker a deal with U2 to create a special U2 edition of the iPod.”
“I talked to Isaacson this week,” Lyons writes. “He went back to the notes he had taken while preparing his Jobs biography and found something that he didn’t include in the book, which seems massively interesting now: a comment from Iovine that back in 2002 and 2003, he wanted the Apple chief to acquire Universal.”
MacDailyNews Take: Isaacson’s book has an unparalleled ability to omit the interesting.
“Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years,” Lyons writes. “The product has been held up because Apple can’t get all the content owners on board.”
MacDailyNews Take: What was that we wrote when this Beats news flared up? Oh, yeah:
It’s very likely that this Beats deal is simply that Jimmy Iovine is like Steve Jobs in one way, at least, in that he has the ability to sell ice to Eskimos, and Cook realizes that Eddy Cue without Steve Jobs is failing to seal the types of deals that Apple needs sealed.
iTunes Radio isn’t as good as it should be (plus it’s unnecessarily hidden – within iTunes on the desktop, especially), a subscription option would certainly be welcome, and the work for Apple’s next-gen TV product is pretty much done, according to our sources, but lacks the necessary content deals for launch. As senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Cue is responsible for these things. Perhaps Cook’s intention is that those types of initiatives will now fall to Iovine to make happen correctly and promptly.
We’re not going to say that we expect Cue to retire sooner than later, but we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he did, especially if this Beats deal gets consummated. – MacDailyNews, May 12, 2014
Lyons writes, “Maybe Iovine has the charisma and connections to round up the networks the way he did the music labels in 2002, although ‘it’s a lot more complicated’ this time around, says Isaacson. His track record of success in marrying content and tech gives that theory some weight.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: You can read it on MacDailyNews first or wait awhile for it to be regurgitated somewhere else.
Thanks for reading, Walter. While you’re here, in case you missed this:
Anyone who can take a raging ball of fire like Steve Jobs and reduce his life to a bland cardboard cutout harbors some, er… special skills. As with passionate, interesting writing, judging companies’ levels of innovation isn’t one of Isaacson’s talents, either.
Go back to your day job, Walter. You know, churning out mind-numbing, by-the-numbers pablum that nobody* can finish without massive amounts of willpower and Red Bull.
Stop posing on TV as an Apple expert, or any sort of tech business expert, because totally blowing it by squatting out an interminable doorstop after being handed the biography subject of the century only makes you an expert in one thing: Failure.
After 630-pages that we never thought would end, we know you love facts, so here are a couple: You’re as much of an Apple/technology expert as any random fscktard off the street, you insipid milker, and your book was only a bestseller because it had Steve Jobs’ name and face on the cover, not because of you, Mr. Soporific.
*Having a bit more than a passing interest in Steve Jobs, even we could barely make it though Walter’s God-awful “Steve Jobs” textbook! No wonder Sorkin promptly threw it in the trash and started over from scratch. – MacDailyNews, January 15, 2014
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]
Scribe of flavorless Steve Jobs biography thinks Google is ‘more innovative’ than Apple because Google bought a thermostat company – January 15, 2014
Analyst Sacconaghi on Apple buying Beats: ‘We struggle with the rationale for this deal’ – May 20, 2014