Update 10:20PM ET: Jimmy Iovine has issued an apology to BuzzFeed News for his controversial quote regarding him believing women have a “difficult” time finding music:
“We created Apple Music to make finding the right music easier for everyone — men and women, young and old. Our new ad focuses on women, which is why I answered the way I did, but of course the same applies equally for men. I could have chosen my words better, and I apologize.”
Apple executive Jimmy Iovine and popular recording artist Mary J. Blige sat down with the hosts of CBS This Morning earlier today to discuss Apple Music. A couple of months back, Apple debuted a new TV ad for its music streaming service starring Blige along with actresses Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson. In the ad, the three stars described Apple music as the “Instant boyfriend mixtape service” and touted that the For You feature is the equivalent of having a boyfriend inside your computer.
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In today’s interview with CBS, Iovine discussed the inspiration behind the ad, explaining that he believes women have trouble finding music to listen to (a quote some have found to be controversial). “Women find it very difficult at times – some women – to find music, …and Apple Music helps makes it easier with playlists curated by real people,” Iovine said. Jimmy touted that Apple Music playlists are created by humans, not by an “algorithm.”
For her part, Blige explained that being in the Apple Music ad meant a lot to her because Apple Music is the platform that she wishes she had built. When Iovine first presented it to her, Blige explained that she immediately wished she had done it herself.
Iovine went on to elaborate that he had a specific scenario in mind when thinking up the advertisement and Apple’s For You service. Iovine also noted that he originally wanted Oprah in the ad, but was unable to convince her.
I thought of a problem, you know: girls are sitting around, you know, talking about boys. Or complaining about boys when they’re hearts are broken or whatever. And they need music for that, right? So it’s hard to find the right music, you know. Not everybody has the right lists, or knows a DJ or something.”
Iovine also commented that Apple Music has “well over” 6.5 million paying subscribers, a number that Tim Cook initially revealed last month. Blige and Iovine then went on to talk about how streaming is the future of music. While Iovine noted that he initially wanted to work with Apple when he realized how ahead of the curve the company was in terms of digital offerings. Iovine has previously told this story.
You can watch the full CBS This Morning interview below: