Apple Music Executive Jimmy Iovine Criticizes Spotify

October 10, 2015

Apple Music exec Jimmy Iovine has ripped into Spotify in an interview filmed for Vanity Fair, where he appeared alongside HBO CEO Richard Plepler.

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Iovine’s called out ‘freemium’ music streaming. Apple offer a free trial for their service, but there is no access to the service on a permanently free basis.

“We have a problem in the industry, I believe,” he says. “This whole ‘free’ issue. The television industry doesn’t have it, the movie industry doesn’t have it, but the record industry has it.”

“In my personal opinion – this is not Apple’s opinion – free is a real issue,” he continues. “You have to build a service in order to get over ‘free’. This whole thing about ‘freemium’… maybe at one time we needed it, but right now, to me, it’s a shell game. What these companies are doing is building the old-school traffic.”

Iovine goes on to analyze what he believes motivates freemium services:

“They realise Snapchat has 100million people, it’s worth $16bn. So if I have people and a model that has subscription as well, what’s my company worth? They’re building an audience on the back of the artist. That bugs me. It’s a shell game. It’s like ‘we need this’, but they don’t really need it because we [Apple Music] don’t have a free service.”

“We’d have 500 million people using it,” Iovine said on what would happen if Apple started a free service, but made it very clear that wasn’t on the agenda.

Watch the interview:


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