Jimmy Iovine wants people to pay for music again and he’s got a
plan that just might work: make free music streaming suck.
The Apple exec
and music industry legend sat down for a new wide-ranging
interview, during which Iovine lamanted that artists aren’t
getting paid enough for their music anymore. And it’s mostly
Spotify and YouTube’s fault.
leads the Apple Music team, told
Music Business Worldwide, that if Apple Music had a free
tier like Spotify does it would have 400 million people on it
already. Apple Music currently has around 30 million
subscribers. Its rival Spotify has over 50 million paying
subscribers and over 100 million active users.
According to Iovine, the dynamics of
the music industry need to be changed so that listeners who are
actually paying artists money get advantages free streamers
who pay for subscriptions should be advantaged. The labels owe
it to their customers,” explained Iovine. “The most important
thing for labels is to make the paid services compelling and
entertaining. And don’t make free services as good as the paid
services. Is that not obvious?!”
Paying Artists For Music
Part of the
reason why Iovine chose to go to Apple was because the company
believes artists should get paid. While Spotify is often seen
as Apple’s biggest competition, Iovine repeatedly pointed to
YouTube in the interview as the biggest danger to artists.
his passion for paying artists come from, Iovine referred to
his days working as an audio engineer on albums for John
Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith.
“They gave me a shot. I didn’t deserve it. And I’ve put my
money where my mouth is: Beats Music didn’t have a free tier.
Apple Music doesn’t have a free tier,” said Iovine. “I’m not
just talking it; I’m walking it. That’s why I aligned with Eddy
and Tim and Steve. They thought the same way.”
Getting free music off of YouTube could be crucial for the
industry to convert more listeners into paid subscribers.
Iovine admitted he tried to fight Spotify in the early days of
Apple Music. Now he’s just focused on making Apple Music the
best cultural platform possible.
Iovine’s interview touched on a number of other subjects like
recording in the 1970’s, working with Drake and Future, meeting
Steve Jobs and a lot more. You can read it in its entirety over