With rumblings of his exit from Apple Music surfacing, Jimmy Iovine decided to clear the air. In a new interview with Variety, Iovine classifies the reports as untrue during an appearance Monday night (Jan. 8) at the Grammy Museum for a screening and Q&A to promote the Grammy-nominated HBO documentary The Defiant Ones.
The music mogul reiterates his dedication to the Apple brand, and their bright future. “I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in 2 1/2 years, the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run,” Iovine explained, citing his last few years since he sold Beats. “But there’s still a lot more we’d like to do. I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band.”
He also shot down reports that his exit from Apple would coincide with his stock in the company vesting. “All this stuff you’re seeing in the newspapers, let me tell you, my stock vested a long time ago,” he said. “My contract is up in August, but the funny thing is, I don’t have a contract. I have a deal, and certain things happen along that deal. The bottom line is I’m loyal to the guys at Apple. I love Apple, and I really love musicians. That’s why those articles annoyed me, because it had nothing to do with reality. It made it out to be all about money.”
Iovine also dropped a hint about the next frontier for streaming music, explaining that the platforms may need to emulate companies like Amazon. “Netflix has a unique catalog, because they don’t buy HBO and they have their own catalog. Then on top of that they have a little thing called $6 billion in original content. HBO has $3 billion, Amazon probably has $4 billion. Well, guess how much original content streaming has: zero! Fundamentally. All the catalogs are exactly the same.”