Jimmy Iovine: Apple Music ‘going really well,’ no ad-suported free tier ‘shell game’

“Apple doesn’t want to be a source of free tunes, according to Jimmy Iovine, a leader of the company’s subscription music service,” Joan E. Solsman reports for CNET. “Streaming music services supported by ads are ‘building an audience on the back of the artists,’ Iovine said Wednesday at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco. A senior figure at Apple Music, Iovine characterized ad-supported streaming music as a ‘shell game.'”

“Apple Music had 11 million users as of August, according to the Cupertino, California tech giant. Iovine said Apple could quickly raise that number to 500 million if it offered a free ad-supported model,” Solsman reports. “‘We don’t want to do that,’ said Iovine, a former record producer who co-founded Beats Electronics. ‘We believe that we’ve built something powerful enough and strong enough that it will work.'”

“Apple is ‘very satisfied’ with the service, Iovine said, although he acknowledged there were some aspects of it he’d like to change,” Solsman reports. “Iovine didn’t disclose how many subscribers Apple Music has but characterized growth as ‘going really well.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Over time, Apple Music will be the leader in music subscriptions. There are simply too many Apple devices with it built-in, sitting there tempting rabid music fans. Casual music fans will ignore it and continue to buy what they like or simply continue listening to free options. The audience for subscription music is rabid music fans, not dabblers. The question is how large is that market really? Is it 100 million (out of 7.3 billion people)? 50 million? 500 million?

Apple Music: Gone and forgotten – October 7, 2015
So far, Apple Music has failed; it’s very difficult to justify the monthly subscription – October 5, 2015


  1. I own my music and am sticking with iTunes Match.

    The something for nothing crowd that use Beats waste their time with hip-hop/rap/whatever- “music” for those who cannot sing, play or read music, but can run their mouth over a drum machine.

    1. While I radically disagree with your denigrating those who enjoy music that you don’t, I do agree with the concept of buying music. However, I take it one step further. I have only bought CDs or better quality media since about 1985. (I gave up on acquiring 8 or 16 track reel-to-reel media back in the 70s.) With those as my sources, for those things that I want on my portable devices I either convert them to lossless compressed or don’t port them. But that’s just me.

  2. He’ll be automatically labeled as being a liar because most Apple haters will swear that AppleMusic has failed. That’s without even knowing the numbers. They figure Apple should make some announcement that it has signed up 30 million subscribers in a matter of days. Since Apple hasn’t said anything, the pundits will simply assume it’s a huge failure.

    Most streaming music services have been low margin businesses for years but Apple will be expected to be the streaming music leader within months. I don’t know about the size of their audience but I’m sure it will be a profitable service. I think Apple has a good shot at being a streaming leader but it will take time and plenty of effort. I don’t think music streaming is the big deal Wall Street makes it out to be. Owning music will continue to be the way to go for most people.

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