Jimmy Iovine On Apple Music, Taylor Swift, Jay Z, Zane Lowe, Napster
In a new interview, Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine shares stories about tempting Zane Lowe to leave the BBC, facing the wrath of Taylor Swift, Jay Z and the inner workings of Apple Music. Here are the highlights:
From the Evening Standard
Iovine On Taylor Swift
“Eddy [Cue, Apple senior VP] woke up on Sunday morning. He called me and said, ‘This is a drag’. I was like, ‘Yeah, maybe there’s some stuff she doesn’t understand’. He said, ‘Why don’t you give Scott [Borchetta, Swift’s label boss] a call? I called Scott, I called Eddy back, Eddy and Tim [Cook, Apple CEO] called me back and we said, ‘Hey, you know what, we want this system to be right and we want artists to be comfortable, let’s do it’.”
On The Competition
“There’s a lot of [them]. Music deserves elegance and the distribution right now is not great. It’s all over the place and there are a bunch of utilities. That’s the best you can find. It’s basically a really narrow, small, inelegant way to have music delivered. So it’s sterile, programmed by algorithms and numbing.”
On Zane Lowe
“What he’s done in 19 weeks shouldn’t have been possible” Was it easy to convince Lowe to leave the BBC? “It wasn’t easy but that was my job and I come from a world of knowing when someone is special."
“Napster hit me on the side of the head. The minute I saw it I was like, we are in trouble. I knew the record industry wouldn’t know how to handle it. I said, ‘OK, let’s try to embrace the tech industry’. [From 2000] I spent three years looking for a relationship in tech we could work with.”
“I know Jay, he’s a fabulous cat, but I’m not involved in his streaming service,” he says. “I don’t look at Spotify or Rdio or any of these guys as a direct competitor, I look at other forms of entertainment as the competitor. Not everybody can do this but I think the team I’ve put together can. I always say, I love chocolate but I’m not Willy Wonka."