Apple wants to turn Apple Music into a one-stop shop for pop culture

“ was shopping a reality show to TV networks when he met Apple Music guru Jimmy Iovine on the office terrace where Iovine likes to do his biggest deals alfresco. The two go way back; Iovine signed the musician when he was running Interscope Records,” Lucas Shaw and Alex Webb report for Bloomberg Businessweek. “The music legend loved’s idea, a Shark Tank-style competition for new apps, and before long he’d persuaded him and TV producer Ben Silverman to pitch it to Eddy Cue, who runs Apple Inc.’s services business and is the company’s conduit to Hollywood.”

“ bailed on a meeting with a TV network and headed for Cupertino, Calif., where he met Cue and soon after agreed to make the program for Apple Music, the tech giant’s two-year-old streaming service and an increasingly important part of the Apple universe,” Shaw and Webb report. “With iTunes sales in decline and streaming services such as Spotify on the rise, Apple wants to see if it can turn its music app into a one-stop shop for pop culture — and keep customers tethered to their iPhones.”

“Apple Music could release as many as 10 original series by the end of the year, including’s Planet of the Apps and several documentaries,” Shaw and Webb report. “Iovine won’t say what they are, but people familiar with the matter say two are about the legendary hip-hop labels Bad Boy Records and Cash Money Records while another is about music impresario Clive Davis… Eventually he plans to go beyond music and has discussed possible ideas with his friend Brian Grazer, producer of Empire and Genius, and director J.J. Abrams. ‘Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head,’ he says. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Apple wants to see if it can turn its music app into a one-stop shop for pop culture.”

Okay, so do it already.

And, BTW, if it’s also about TV shows and documentaries and going into content “beyond music,” why the hell is it called “Apple Music?”

Apple Music’s very name screams, “We didn’t know what we were doing, right down to the name. We thought we’d be ruling the world by now with just music streaming, but we’re not. So, we’re going to “go beyond music,” but then the service will be misnamed, so… uh… well, it’s nowhere near complete in my head*.”

It’s the “iTunes Music Store” all over again and, for that matter, “iTunes” today.

Apple Music was a confusing, unfocused mess when it launched** and it remains so today. Don’t even get us started on iTunes.

*Isn’t that what you got/get paid for, Jimmy?
**Its UI, lambasted by users and reviewers, required a major clean up right out of the gate and it still has its issues.

Not all RDFs are created equal. Be careful, Jimmy. There’s a fine line between operating a functional RDF and a dump truck full of bullshit.MacDailyNews, May 29, 2014

We’ve always had the inkling that Steve Jobs understood exactly what Jimmy Iovine was, but that, perhaps, Jimmy bamboozled Tim Cook with bullshit.MacDailyNews, June 9, 2015

Far be it for us to absolve certain Apple executives (Eddy Cue for example) by rewarding failure (that’s Cook’s job, it seems, as Cue still has one), but Apple Music hasn’t been around nearly as long as Spotify. Yes, it’s getting momentarily outgrown and that’s a worrisome sign of Apple Music’s piss-poor management that can’t even convert the richest demographic by far into $9.99/month subscribers faster than Spotify can convert a bunch of coupon-clipping Fragmandroid-settling cheapskates into paying customers, but that’s likely just temporary (assuming Apple someday finally gets their shit together on this).

And, no, “Planet of the Fscking Apps” isn’t the answer to selling more Apple Music subscriptions, geniuses.

Still, that said, as we wrote in February 2016, “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.”

Even if Apple bought Spotify this afternoon and combined their 50 million with Apple Music’s 20 million, they’d only have 70 million subscribers. And, remember, they’re not all paying $9.99. Both Spotify and Apple Music have $4.99/mo. plans for “students” (wink, wink). Even if they were all paying $9.99 on average, that’s gross revenue of $699.3 million/month. That’s not pocket change (but it’s not a lot of money for Apple either, which reported revenue of $78.4 billion last quarter) and that’s before paying out the music royalties, the costs of running and marketing the service, the costs of producing brain-dead rip-offs of “Shark Tank” and “The Voice” (focused on apps, no less), paying Eddy Cue $22.8+ million a year to not get content deals for Apple TV, paying Jimmy Iovine only-God-knows-what to bullshit you to death 24/7, etc., etc., etc.MacDailyNews, March 8, 2017

Apple Music can’t even beat Spotify, but, regardless, music streaming just might be a lousy business anyway – March 8, 2017
Spotify hits 50 million paid subscribers – March 3, 2017
Eddy Cue: ‘Planet of the Apps’ is another way to sell more Apple Music subscriptions – February 14, 2017
Apple Music still trails Spotify’s growth rate – December 19, 2016
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
Apple Music and coherent product design and marketing – May 5, 2016


  1. “We’ve always had the inkling that Steve Jobs understood exactly what Jimmy Iovine was, but that, perhaps, Jimmy bamboozled Tim Cook with bullshit.” — MacDailyNews, June 9, 2015


  2. I’ve never used Apple Music or Match or any of the new “features” of iTunes. With all the horror stories of people losing libraries and higher-quality files being replaced by low-rent, low-bitrate ones from Apple – NO WAY!

    I’m really disappointed that Apple lost its way so quickly after Steve died. This kind of story highlights that fact even more.

  3. I have never been in favor of the Beats acquisition. $4 Billion???

    Any patents or hardware they had could have been invented in-house for a fraction of the cost. So what did they buy? Jimmy and et al. Still too much money for those guys. And I am not impressed with Cue, but that is a different subject.

    Seems like they don’t know what they are doing, don’t know what each other is doing and no one has any really interest in doing anything.

  4. Apple Music hired all the wrong people for Beats1. They are hangers-on from the BBC whose talent deficiency is masked and cushioned by Apple’s wealth. These aren’t radio “producers”. They are witnesses to the indulgent acts of presenters over whom they have neither control, nor production. It’s time to clear out Hanover Street.

  5. Apple, was once a great company. Steve Jobs, was the secret sauce. Steve starded the company, saved/reinvented the company, and was running a well-oiled machine before he passed. Since then, it is very clear Apple, is a bit lost (MDN lists many of the issues regularly). It doesn’t seem like all forces at Apple are heading in the same direction, let alone, have a clear roadmap/plan for the future. To be blunt, they are still doing well financially because of past success. Yes, they make some good products; however, Apple, is not running at the caliber they were previously. I am really hoping they get back on track soon!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.