Music Business

Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers Largely Missing From Apple Acquisition Coverage

Ian-rogers(UPDATED) Amidst all the news about the acquisition of Beats Electronics, we've heard very little about the CEO of Beats Music, Ian Rogers. Yes, Jimmy Iovine is the big boss at Beats, but given the prominence of the streaming music service in coverage of the acquisition, one would think the CEO of said service would get a bit more ink. Yet this sense that Rogers is missing from the news has been part of the story of Beats Music all along.

It's Hard To Be CEO When Your Boss Is The CEO

Apple beatsBeats announced Daisy, the early name for Beats Music, and the appointment of Ian Rogers as CEO in early January 2013. Rogers also took over as head of MOG, the separate streaming music service earlier acquired by Beats. In addition Rogers continued with Topspin in the role of Executive Chairman.

In February 2013 Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine went on a barnstorming tour in which some exaggerations were made for which Iovine mostly got a pass.

At the time Ian Rogers seemed oddly quiet. Obviously Iovine's the big boss and the media entertainer as well so it made sense that he led the first marketing push.

Later that year, in a brief Twitter exchange with Rogers, he stated something to the effect that the muzzle was finally coming off.

Rogers did make appearances along the way, for example, in The Verge and Billboard as well as at SXSW. But he always seemed to be toeing a company line rather than leading a company.

This impression may well be entirely unfair. Rogers has always been rather understated showing quite a bit of insight when he does speak, for example, in his interviews for This Week in Music.

But it's the depth and quality of Rogers' pre-Beats writing and speaking that let many of us know he was much more than pretty hair and a deep resume.

And knowing that is what made it so hard to see a position which could have forefronted that insight become a background for celebrity leadership.

Rogers Mostly Missing From Beats Acquisition Coverage

Beats appleIan Rogers is missing from the Apple press release and the Beats acquisition announcement post.

It's said that he was initially scheduled to appear with Jimmy Iovine at the Code Conference, instead Iovine appeared with Apple's Eddy Cue.

I've seen passing references to Ian Rogers in acquisition coverage saying that he will report to Eddy Cue at Apple.

Let's hope that Rogers can regain his voice at Apple or move along to, yes, the next episode.

Editors Note: As several readers have pointed out, Luke Woods, the Beats Electronics CEO, who started as Jimmy Iovine's assistant at Interscope and formed Beats with him was also notably absent from all the coverage.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) is also beta blogging at DanceLand. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Head down, mouth shut, pocket the dough, and on to the next.
    Same with Luke Wood.
    Also – wondering what will be the fate of the radio programmers who ditched their prime terrestrial FM gigs to ‘curate’ channels on Beats.

  2. Trent Reznor is also conspicuously absent from the acquisition announcement. I suspect the Apple Beats integration may be anti-climatic like Beats Music. Only 110,000 subscribers for FM music disk jockey’s portrayed as “music curators”.

  3. Not taking sides, but:
    Beats has 250,000 subscribers
    Ian isn’t worth $100 million.
    He’s also way more important to the future of this deal than Trent.
    OK, maybe I’m taking sides.

  4. I agree with Edward Jennings. Beats version of music as a service fails to impress me with its much hyped curation features. They can’t produce something more groundbreaking?

  5. Funny to see this story. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading everything. Ian poured his heart into building a really excellent service and not even a nod. It’s like they had to have equal representation from each side of the deal and Apple didn’t have a third. Or four makes a better photo. Anyhoo, Beats Music would not be what it is without Ian’s direction. That’s a fact.

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