Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine is in fresh talks with the world’s top musicians, in hopes of landing more exclusive album deals for iTunes, reports The New York Post.
Apple is looking to replicate the success Beyonce had with her exclusive iTunes album in December 2013, by signing other hot artists to drop their albums early on Beats Music and iTunes. But according to industry sources, the idea of artists making side deals with streaming services is not going over well with record label executives.
It’s unknown who Iovine has been eyeing for exclusive albums, but he was brought on to Apple partly for his deep connections in the music industry. He’s friends with Nicki Minaj, who advertises Beats in her music videos. Iovine is also close with Will.i.am, Pharrell, Gwen Stefani and Kanye West, all of whom are rumored to have new albums in the work. And don’t forget about Dr. Dre, who’s been tutoring Kendrick Lamar ahead of his highly anticipated third album.
Apple has been quiet about its plans for Beats since acquiring the company for $3 billion earlier this year. A complete redesign has been rumored to be underway, and it’s possible that Apple may dump the Beats Music name altogether and integrate the service into iTunes.
According the the Post’s sources, Beats Music subscribers now number around 300,000, which outperformed the expectations of promotional partner AT&T, but it’s still just a drop in the bucket compared to the 10 million paying subscribers Spotify scooped up in 2014.