Breakups are always sad — especially when you made such a good couple together.
Billboard is reporting that Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records and former chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, is leaving Apple Music after more than three years in an (official) undisclosed position with the Cupertino, California-based company.
Iovine is one of the biggest names in the music industry, having co-founded Beats By Dre with Dr. Dre before engineering a $3 billion deal to sell the audio manufacturer to Apple in 2014 (not coincidentally, just before he was hired by Apple). Iovine was one of the most influential figures contributing to the rise of Apple Music, which debuted in June 2015 and has since grown into a legitimate threat to Spotify for the domestic streaming crown, with more than 30 million paid subscribers (per Statista).
Back in September, Iovine told Billboard that he wasn’t sure what his next post-Apple move would be, but that he wants to continue working in the music streaming industry, which he considers to be in long-term jeopardy thanks to the proliferation of free-use alternatives and the banality of most streaming platforms, not to mention issues with royalty payments. While at Apple Music, Iovine pioneered programs like Apple’s Beats 1 radio station, which features notable DJs like Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden introducing listeners to new, up-and-coming artists.
Under Iovine’s watch, Apple Music became a hotbed for original content creation, where auteurs found an avenue to develop and promote nonmusic media including films, magazines, and even advertisements. In January 2017, he talked about expanding Apple Music beyond its rhythmic roots, citing the 2016 acquisition of popular web series Carpool Karaoke as an example. Iovine’s relationship with Apple dates back to 2003, when he was introduced to Apple founder Steve Jobs and became involved in the promotion of the iPod and iTunes in their infancy.
Iovine, was the subject of a recent four-part HBO documentary — titled The Defiant Ones — which chronicled Jimmy’s relationship with hip-hop mogul Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre. The 64-year-old has become synonymous with the record industry, for better and worse; back in 2012, rapper Macklemore titled a song “Jimmy Iovine” on his Grammy-winning album The Heist, where he complained about artists sacrificing authorship and money for the safety of a record deal.