Apple-Beats is now becoming the multi-faceted diamond of the music industry and Apple’s chief executive Timothy D. Cook, knows it. He recently told the New York Times how unique it is to find the combination of talent that comes with his new team of Iovine and Dre. He likened it to going to the beach and finding a precise grain of sand. Cook is well aware of his “rare find,” and has made it known repeatedly that he has scored big time. It is about the talent.
Iovine’s ability to mastermind success is a sought after intangible in the music industry, as is Dr. Dre’s ability to generate and direct modern pop culture. Shortly after the Apple-Beats deal went live, Iovine went to Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, to speak to a group of technology executives at the Code Conference. He jokingly opened by saying that he couldn’t say anything anymore because of his new family’s tight lipped culture. Another one of Apple’s executives, Eddy Cue, was with Iovine as he had an hour-plus interview with journalists Swisher and Mossberg. Music mogul Iovine was not shy about speaking his mind, and disclosed that the Beats partnership with Hewlett-Packard would dissolve when the contract ended. When asked about the trouble Beats streaming has in attracting users, he said that it was far too early to determine that, and most important, they were getting the product right. Then he was confronted about competitors, and irrepressibly responded that when in the music business, you do not look at what others are doing, you run your own race and market it. When asked to comment on Spotify, he admitted that they do have 10 million paying customers globally, but said that is what they should have in America alone.
Both Iovine and Dre will be working directly under Mr. Cue. Iovine will be working full time at Apple Beats in Cupertino, which will be a new atomospheric culture for him to be working in. The culture of Silicon Valley is where algorithms rule. Iovine has already said that algorithms are not a stand alone when it comes to the music streaming service. He stressed that human curation is essential. As for Dr. Dre, he will continue to make music, but said he will do whatever it takes to fulfill his part. Apple-Beats is becoming a multi-faceted diamond of algorithms and human creativity in the music industry. Iovine and Dre are expected to birth “ways of features” that will be mind blowing, said Cook to the New York Times.
The late Mr. Jobs was famously known for his “reality distortion field.” Iovine emanates the same spirit, in that, he can declare something to be real regardless of how complex the facts are. The bluster that Iovine displays is part of knowing that his music magic is based on instinct to build. During the first three years of Beats, they spent zero dollars on marketing and relied solely on product placement and harnessing media attention. Sales in that season soared to $500 million. Iovine commented that Jobs would have been very proud, and acknowledges that they were kindred spirits.
A buzz is in the air as Apple-Beats is moving forward. Tech savvy gurus, music industry leaders, and music consumers are all anticipating what is to unfold next. There could be some surprises this upcoming week at Apple’s WWDC, June 2-6, in San Francisco. Polishing this new multi-faceted Apple Beats diamond for the music industry has only just begun.
By Jill Boyer- Adriance