With reports that Apple is in final talks to close a $3.2 billion deal to purchase Beats Electronics, we thought it would be interesting to revisit a recent interview with the company’s co-founder Jimmy Iovine from just before the launch of Beats Music. The interview above was from the D: Dive Into Media conference back in February of 2013 and in it Iovine gives a lot of insight into his view of the music industry leading up to the launch of the company’s new Beats Music subscription streaming service.

You’ll also get a sense of just how important a figure Iovine is in the music industry, which might be why Tim Cook is rumored to be keeping Iovine on as a special adviser on creative matters through the Beats deal. Lots of topics are covered, but the interview as a whole gives great perspective into Beats’ mission with its new streaming music service.

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12 Responses to “Listen to Beats Jimmy Iovine talk about the future of music for 40 minutes”

  1. Jake Becker says:

    “the music industry” is a lot more vast than the window of America-friendly radio and/or hipster-accepted material. Don’t forget it, Apple.


  2. This what I thought of as soon as I heard of the deal. I always saw Beats as more of Iovine’s company than Dre’s.


  3. Iovine brings a lot to the table. I don’t think people are really giving Iovine the respect he deserves. He would be a huge asset to Apple, not to mention he also hugely admires the company and really understands the Apple DNA. As Apple tries to become more and more of a lifestyle “experience” brand, someone like Iovine could be really important.


  4. This is the same Jimmy Iovine that essentially stole Beats from Monster. The backstory to how Beats by Dre came about it pretty fascinating if you haven’t read it.


  5. Apple made a great move!


  6. Bob Smogango says:

    For rich record label execs not know that a bunch of other 3rd party headphones and earbuds existed that are much better sounding that Beats, it kind of makes me think these guys are REALLY out of touch with what’s on in the market. Companies like Sennheiser, Grado, AKG, Beyer, Shure, etc. have been making headphones for many years and have been making high quality ear buds for many years as well, they just don’t resort to the cheap marketing tactics of getting celebrities to wear their products on TV, etc. so people can follow like sheep onto the Beats bandwagon. Beats headphones actually sound like crap, just like most of the crap music these guys are producing these days. Iovine and Dr. Dre aren’t pushing out high quality recordings anymore and haven’t been for many years. Dr. Dre NEVER put out anything that’s worth listening to. Commercial pop music is so heavily processed these days that it just doesn’t sound good, no matter what headphones you have. They have to get back to proper miking techniques, less or no processing, no pitch correction, no or little overdubbing, and no audio compression that takes out the dynamics of the performance and they need to abandon Rap music altogether. Nothing worse than having idiots wearing their pants below their underwear and not having a clue how to speak the English language or whatever language is native to the country they were born and raised in. Rap music has completely destroyed our society and turned a lot of kids into selfish, soulless thugs that have no ability to do anything positive within our society. Yet, these two and others like them make millions from stupid people that buy into ignorant rap music. Ignorant music for the musically ignorant. They aren’t signing artists anymore they are signing entertainers that just happen to kind of sing or rap. DISGUSTING. Whatever Iovine did when he first started, he certainly isn’t do much of that today. Shame on him and Dre for hoodwinking society into a bunch of crap.


  7. Bob Smogango says:

    Iovnine is CLUELESS as to how to get an album to sound right. He’s CLUELESS. The other part of the music industry that uses no signal processing that goes for sonic accuracy of a performance of musicians playing acoustic instruments are looking for sonic accuracy. Beats isn’t sonically accurate, Iovine doesn’t know how to create an album where the instruments sound like you are right there in the studio with the musician. Iovine and Dre produce SIGNAL PROCESSED music, which isn’t natural and pure, it’s BS recording.


    • He’s produced some of the most popular albums of all time..what have you done besides be a racist piece of shit? To call hip hop music ignorant just tells me what type of character you are. Go crawl back up your mothers ass because we don’t need you on this website spouting nonsense.


      • Bob Smogango says:

        Racist? How am I a racist? Why did you have to resort to using the Race card? Because Dr. Dre is black? Who cares what his skin color is. I look at what type of content they put on the market and if there is any intelligence behind it.

        Now, with regards to Iovine, he might have helped engineer some popular albums, but they aren’t popular because of the sound quality, they are popular because of the song writing, the performance. His albums aren’t what I would consider something to listen to as far as the quality of sound.

        There are ways to record acoustic instruments and electric instruments and vocals where you get a very realistic and natural sound with lots of dynamic range where the listener feels that they are really listening to something that was well recorded. Iovnine’s engineering really doesn’t fit in that category. Now, if you look at Iovine’s catalog, he has more compilation CDs than anything else. A compilation CD isn’t anything other than repackaging existing hit material and maybe some song that wasn’t good enough to release and they stick some fancy packaging and charge a lot of money for it. It’s a kind of a scam. They try to squeeze as much money as they can from the die hard fans. But that’s not anything I would look up to in terms of production.

        Now, if you want a record exec to look up to, then I would look at Clive Davis. he was largely responsible for signing the better artists over the years that actually put out the quality content for the popular music industry. He knew talent. Iovine is just a cheap imitation of Clive Davis.

        Now, if you want to talk about engineers for the popular music industry, then I would be looking at a George Martin or someone of that caliber that is not known to use a lot of signal processing, especially using AutoTune, and other forms of pitch correction to mask the fact that who they signed as a vocalist can’t sing.
        The problem in the music industry is that ever since they started using computers to record music instead of tape machines is that a lot of engineers started to resorting to what they call “fix it in the mix” approach, which is how they fix mistakes made and they can produce these ultra slick recordings that have removed much of the human element in the performance. This is why a lot of pop music these days is crap. Another reason why people don’t want to pay for music anymore. The only way they can put something decent on the market is they have to go back to the early recordings and get them reconverted and remastered using better quality equipment and give the users a higher resolution version without all of the audio compression and heavy amounts of eq, limiting, etc. which screws up the naturalness of the recording.

        Now, Iovnine was VERY misleading in many of his statements. First off, no media player mfg like Apple is going to ship an expensive pair of earbuds with a music player than costs between $60 and $500. It’s VERY difficult to design, build one that has good sound quality. So what Apple and all of the others do is they put something in the box just to ship something and then it opens up a 3rd party market that can cater to every price range from the $5 pieces of crap all the way up to several thousand dollars. Now, Iovine didn’t mention that there have been and still are headphone and earbud mfg that make extremely high quality products that sound unbelievable. He tried to mislead people into thinking that there wasn’t anyone making decent earbuds and headphones until THEY came out with the Beats headphones. Sorry, he was misleading. I find him to be kind of slimy. Why he went to Intel was STUPID. He needs to go to whomever is building the actual players. Intel just focuses mostly on processor chips. The problem the industry has and will always have is that if you want really good quality audio, it costs a LOT of money and a pair of Beats headphones or earbuds isn’t the answer.

        What the iPod really is, is a replacement for Walkmans which used either cassette tapes or CDs. None of the Walkmans really had great sound either.

        But in terms of digital music, people play it on anything from a cheap media player that costs $50 all the way up to a stereo system that costs in excess of $2 Million and everywhere in between.

        Some people listen to music in their car, walking, exercising, while they go out dancing, or just sitting in a room just focusing on listening to a piece of music, etc.

        I think these radio players lack one thing and that’s good sound quality. That’s why there are 3rd party companies that have better s/w that can improve the sound quality and then there are the 3rd party companies that make external DACs, and stereo equipment we can connect to.

        The thing is, Iovine only knows the mass market. That’s all he does. He caters his music towards mostly kids between the ages of 13 and 25. That’s HIS market. That’s pretty much all he can talk about. Kids in that age category, FOR THE MOST PART, are ignorant about what good audio sounds like. Some are venturing into the realm of vinyl, because they have parents that explain to their kids about various audio equipment and that’s becoming popular. The fact is that Iovine THINKS that Beats headphones are the best, when in REALITY, they suck. They are designed for the type of content him and Dr. Dre and some of these other pop music producers are cranking out these days and it’s a lot of artificial bass.

        Do yourself a favor, and bring in your pair of Beats headphones into a high end audio store that sells the higher end headphones and compare them to a pair of Sennheiser HD800’s, Audeze, or Grado. Those three brands make headphones that cater to those that listen to music that is unaltered for the most part. They want sonic accuracy, dynamic range, and as close to what the actual source sounds like, not some artificially altered version of it. If the sound quality sucks when you listen to the music on these top end headphones, then it’s not the headphone, it’s probably the mastering job, the mixing job because those types of headphone REVEAL everything. They don’t mask the sound, they reveal as much as possible, and they perform best when used with high equality DACs, preamps, and amps, which unfortunately aren’t in your typical iPod. Because of the price range Apple is going after, they can’t use expensive components like Astell & Kern. So, Apple does the best job when it comes to putting out a relatively affordable product that the masses can enjoy.

        What I can’t stand is these record producers that only cater to the mindless masses and THINK they know what good audio is all about. Some of them do, but if they do, we can tell by the content they spit out. Iovine isn’t a mastering engineer which is where the final sound is placed on a CD/album. if you spent time in the music industry and actually learned who the real players are and who the phonies are, then you might have a chance in understanding this industry. Iovine’s world is catering to the masses that don’t really know much about the music industry so he’s getting away with it.


      • Bob Smogango says:

        Rap music is ignorant. There is hardly ANY musicianship involved. Most of the rap music on the market doesn’t use REAL musicians unless they ripped off and sampled someone else’s work. To me, that’s a BS way of making an album unless you add additional musicianship to enhance it. but rappers aren’t anything but poets that don’t use anything other than slang and vulgarity to voice their BS anger towards other people because they grew up in a less fortunate circumstances. There are plenty of well respected jazz musicians that grew up in poverty, but instead of resorting the BS, they went and studied music, learned how to play a musical instrument, sing, etc. and learned how to speak with a certain degree of intelligence and they didn’t resort to your ignorant race card BS. I respect THOSE people a LOT more because they are contributing something positive to the industry and they do it the way music SHOULD be done. With respect towards learning how to play a musical instrument and create something worth listening to. But unfortunately, jazz, classical music and other REAL forms of music that requires some degree of musicianship has been removed from your normal existence because maybe your parents, and friends you socialize with. A hip hop groove can be played with REAL musicians along with OTHER musicians to create a decent song, but Dr. Dre doesn’t do that. he uses drum machines, samplers, and other forms of doing what is normally done by HUMANS that have studied the art form known as MUSIC.

        Don’t let your musical ignorance try to justify Rap music, it’s really, for the most part, a bunch of musically ignorant BS that’s catered to those that don’t study music, don’t do anything but try to socialize with a group of people that certainly don’t do anything except waste people’s money, time and energy. The rap culture is filled with too much BS and that’s why we have a bunch of kids running around with their underwear hanging out of their pants because they don’t know how to dress themselves. and we have idiots that spend more money on getting tattoos, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, etc. than spending time and money on getting a decent education and doing something of quality.

        You lost your argument when you started to resorting to your immature, childish and ignorant rants that are just stemming from your lack of understanding the word “QUALITY”.


      • Bob Smogango says:

        Go look up the actual albums Iovine actually engineered. Some of the albums he actually engineered on had a bunch of OTHER engineers on the same album, were produced by other people and used some of the top mastering engineers (Bob Ludwig), which is a major aspect of the recording process. Here’s an example:

        Bruce Springsteen Born to Run album. There were a total of 8 engineers. So which song or what Jimmy actually did is anyone’s guess. It was also mastered by Bob Ludwig which is considered one of the top mastering engineers for the pop recording industry and that’s a major part of the final sound.

        On Springsteen’s The River album, it was mostly Bob Clearmountain doing the mixing with others doing the basics and then someone else doing the mastering. I don’t know what Iovine did on that album. He didn’t produce it, engineer or master anything that i’m aware of… You have to understand that a lot of these albums have many different engineers involved in the process. They might have one engineer do one song (the hit) and then they have others do the mixing and then the mastering.

        Iovine did the Darkness on the Edge of Town album, but that wasn’t one of Springsteen’s better albums.

        Dire Straights? Making Movies wasn’t their big album, I think Brothers In Arms was and Iovine wasn’t part of that album. Oops.

        Golden Earring? Iovine wasn’t on their big single. Radar Love.

        Lady Gaga is just dance music and the recording and production is just overly slick dance BS.

        I never really paid any attention to Iovine, but saw him on American Idol, which should tell you a little about where his head is at. He’s just trying to scope out young kids that really have little to no real experience in the industry trying to be that next American Idol BS. I don’t know why they aren’t using him anymore. Maybe ego related, who knows. I found him to be just marginal at best for the advice he gave.

        Need I go on? Iovine, IMO is more lip service than he is REAL as far as producing. You have to see what album and singles he did and whether it was the best on the album or if the album was their best album. He’s not considered even close to someone like a George Martin, Ken Scott, Tom Dowd, etc. Those are the real deal people for rock/pop recording industry.

        Just because an album sells a lot, doesn’t mean it’s a great engineered album. HOPEFULLY it is, but most of the more recent stuff Iovine does is compilations, which is just repackaging hits to suck as much money as possible from the fans because of lack of anything better to do. He didn’t do Lennon’s best work, he wasn’t involved with the Beatles, Rolling Stones or a whole bunch of others in the industry.

        I think he’s more lip service. His catalog of achievements looks like kindergarten compared to someone like a Bob Ludwig, George Martin, Clive Davis, Quincy Jones and others in the industry.