Apple Music just received a major refresh with iOS 10, but Jimmy Iovine has said in the past that the team behind the service is still working to make everything perfect. In a new interview with Billboard, Iovine discussed the future of Apple Music, as well as the team behind it…
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First off, Iovine addressed the “story” of Apple Music and how it’s much more than just a streaming service. He explained that his first inclination that the music industry and technology industry would become intertwined was when he met Steve Jobs and Eddy Cue in 2003. Iovine noted that he originally approached Jobs about partnering with Dr. Dre for headphones, but Jobs told him to do it himself.
From there, Iovine built a team around him of Larry Jackson, Trent Reznor, and Luke Wood, as well as various other minds.
I realized, okay, the future of music is going to be intertwined with distribution through technology companies. It just looked like that to me, and I realized how far behind I personally was. So I set out to really understand. So I worked with those guys for about two years, and I said to Steve, “I’d like to do headphones with Apple with [Dr.] Dre,” about two or three years later. He said, “Do it yourself, you can do it.” So I tried it myself.
For the future, however, Iovine says that what the Apple Music team is working on behind the scenes is something that’s both technologically and culturally adept. While he wouldn’t discuss specifics about what the company has up its sleeve, he noted that it’s much more than just blending the record industry with streaming music.
Iovine refers to the future service as a “hybrid” and a combination of the culture and teams from Apple and Beats. In the interview, Iovine also praises Eddy Cue, calling him “incredibly natural” and “gifted” because of how Jobs took him under his wing. Iovine also praised Cue for his “great feel for popular culture and media.
Eddy Cue is incredibly natural; he’s gifted, because he was Steve’s guy, so he learned a lot about this and he’s very open and has a great feel for popular culture and media. So you put that team together, and you’ve got a shot.
And what we’re going to do, what we’re doing now that hasn’t been revealed yet, is we’re building the right hybrid. And we believe it’s the right hybrid, and the combination of these things together, we’ll build a music service that is technologically and culturally adept.
The Apple Music head clarifies, however, that he isn’t looking to take over the record industry by any means, calling Apple an “adjunct to labels and artists. “We are building something that can help labels and artists and undiscovered artists,” Iovine said.
As for the immediate future, Iovine says that Apple Music will continue to do “whatever we believed is great.”
We’re going to do whatever we believe is great. We are going to make a combination of tech and popular culture that is exciting and adept at both areas. So that’s what you’re starting to see. It’s going to have a voice. It’s not going to be just a utility — “Go here and get your music, good luck,” or, “We’re going to send you a list” — that’s great, but that’s not what this is. That’s not what this was, anyway.
The full interview can be read on Billboard.