How Jimmy Iovine plans to save Apple Music’s ‘soul’

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Iovine
Apple Music boss Jimmy Iovine at WWDC 2015.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music has already racked up more than 30 million paid subscribers, but according to boss Jimmy Iovine, the company still has a long way to go before its satisfied with its streaming service.

The former Beats CEO turned Apple exec sat down for a new interview along with Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe to talk about the future of the service. During the wide-ranging discussion, the Apple Music team revealed how it thinks music streaming has to change in order to dominate free rivals like YouTube.

Two years hasn’t been enough time for Apple Music to fully implement its vision, claims Iovine. As a former record label exec, Iovine says he wants to see even more engagement between fans and the artists.

I just don’t think streaming is enough as it is. I don’t agree that all things are going to be OK [just] because Apple came into streaming and the numbers went up,” said Iovine in the Billboard interview. “Look at the catalog: It’s a matter of time before the ’60s become the ’50s and the ’50s become the ’40s. The people that are listening to the ’60s will die — I’m one of them. Life goes on. So you have to help the artists create new stuff that they would never be able to do on their own.”

What that new type of content and interaction will be like is still up in the air. Iovine says Apple is experimenting with a number of ideas. Its helped videos like Drake produce music videos. Documentaries following artists have also been in the mix.

One thing Apple seems set on his helping artists to tell the stories behind their music. Rather than just having singles dumped into a playlist, the service wants to encourage music fans to listen to an entire album that artists spend so much time crafting.

Apple is also looking to encourage artists to see that there is money in recorded music. In an age when most musicians are making the most of their money from live shows, Iovine and Zane Lowe want to put the focus back on making great music and not endless touring.

“What do you get out of a No. 1? Two years of solid touring and a very tired artist,” explains Lowe. “That’s why hip-hop is so ­successful because they’re making records ­proactively. They’re constantly recording.”

The entire interview is well worth a read if you’re interested in the future of streaming music and what the next big scene might be. Check it out on Billboard.