Universal Music head Jimmy Iovine sat down recently with former LA Times music critic Robert Hilburn for an extensive interview. Iovine is portrayed as a frenetic executive who puts music and particularly great songs before the bottom line. Many insiders - even those who respect his ears honed as a hit record producer - would counter that Iovine is only concerned with having big hits and not career development.
Whatever side you come down on, its clear that Iovine is a successful - if old school - record executive. Aside from an instructive history lesson the most interesting part of the interview comes near the end:
"Until now, the record industry has thought primarily in terms of defense"...finding ways to combat what he brands as the "stealing" of music through file sharing, piracy and other means. "We have to get into more of the revenue stream. The eventual answer may be a flat fee that enables you to listen to all the music you want. Sites like iTunes need to become a more fulfilling experience — besides music, they should allow you to communicate with other fans, buy concert tickets, T-shirts, maybe even get unreleased recordings by your favorite artists." (more @ LA Times)