Apple Music's Iovine: Ad-supported free music streaming takes advantage of artists

Apple Music's Iovine: Ad-supported free music streaming takes advantage of artists
Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine doesn't mind taking a shot at companies like Spotify, that offer free ad-supported streaming music. Iovine called such plans "a shell game," saying that they are "building an audience on the back of the artists." Spotify, one of Apple Music's top rivals, has signed up 75 million subscribers, of which 55 million belong to the streamer's ad-supported free tier.

In August, Apple Music announced that it had 11 million subscribers for its three-month free trial. Iovine suggested that the number could easily have been 500 million had Apple offered a free ad-supported tier. Many of those 11 million had a choice to make on October 1st, when their free trial period ended. So far, Apple has been mum on the number of trial members that whipped open their wallet to continue the service. Apple Music is $9.99 a month for individuals, and $14.99 for families with up to six members.

Iovine can actually make his comment about ad-supported free streaming music thanks to Taylor Swift. Swift originally held back her massively popular 1989 album from Apple Music, when it appeared that Apple would not pay royalties to artists, producers and record companies for music streamed during the three month free trial. After writing an open letter to the company, Swift claimed victory as Apple blinked first, agreeing to pay royalties on music streamed during the free trials. Swift then allowed her tunes to be streamed on Apple Music.

source: CNET



1. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

Although not as bad as they themselves would have been taking advantage of artists with their 3 months of free trial without royalties had Swift not said anything. Is this what is called hypocrisy?

14. tedkord

Posts: 17397; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It's what is called Apple.

16. paul.k

Posts: 296; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

It wasn't only Swift, really. Many producers and artists were steering away from Apple Music for this very reason (Adele, for example. But hey, she's not famous, right?). Just saying that pressure from a 25-year-old girl was barely the sole reason Apple decided to backtrack on their decisions. But having her as the face of the whole "movement for artists" - hmmm, now that's food for thought.

18. TBomb

Posts: 1555; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I think there's a South Park episode about this: The rock band Moop tries this and fails. Meanwhile, Faith +1 sells a million copies.

19. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

You are up on the swift saying something is a marketing stunt, right? She was always going to offer her music on Apple Music, it was so all the tv channels and papers went on about Apple Music as new service, her music was offered way to fast, deals like this take time and she will have also charged more than others as part of this deal

2. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

If they take advantage of artists, why not do the same? Apple was about to also take advantage of artists anyway, had beloved Taylor Swift pointed out their swift moves.

5. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

Exactly, they don't get to preach this, like they cared about the artists in the first place, as if this was their belief. Their actions were going completely against this until Swift scolded them.

6. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

The thing is that apple is too powerful, well they mainly have a lot of followers and won't be affected in months, it wouldn't be so bad but the thing is that if no one stops them then innovation will come to an end, as more manufacturers exit the market. Hopefully more people realise this and stop supporting these practices. There's nothing that irritates me in the whole world more than hypocrisy. It's like, bro you were about to do the same why you tripping.

3. killerpollo

Posts: 89; Member since: May 15, 2015

"Artists" as Swift are wrong at bashing these companies, it is clearly what the people demand, why the hell aren't they after their respective labels?, some of them take up to 80% of the revenue the artist generates!, that's the real crime, Spotify and Apple music (and most streaming services) are really nice, as a music lover I happily pay 10 dollars a month for unlimited music. If it wasn't for Spotify this year I would have spent more than $250 dollars on albums already.

4. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Swift wasn't bashing apple, she was pointing out the fact that they weren't getting paid. Ad-streaming services still pay the artists, unlike what apple was trying to do. I'd rather pay the 7.50$ /month for 5 months for sirius XM and not have to worry about buffering or going over data allotment (T-mobile in southeast texas, terrible over here past houston).

9. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Taylor is not being paid because the labels are HOGGING THE VAST MAJORITY OF HER POTENTIAL PROFITS. Plain and simple.

10. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

If the labels get paid the singer gets paid, of course, now if labels don't get paid neither will she. And moneywise some is better than nothing, right?

7. Floyd1

Posts: 21; Member since: Feb 06, 2015

So using Mclovin's logic, one could argue that all radio stations everywhere are "a shell game," and are "building an audience on the back of the artists". Well ok then.

8. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Apple can AFFORD to pay the labels first, artists second and completely shun "completely free" streaming mainly because of the Apple Tax. Plain and simple. Another, he is merely echoing the antiquated, inept record industry. Spotify is barely breaking even because for every 100$ that goes through them, 70 GOES TO THE LABELS, not the sound engineers, the composers, the artists, the venture capitalists at the labels! And I thought Ms. Swift and the like would be smart enough to renegotiate to curb this.

11. TheWeasel

Posts: 403; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

Of course they can afford to, they can afford to do a ton of things. Whether they actually do them is another matter. Do they actually pay everyone like that? It sounds very unlike Apple to pay more for something instead of taking the easy route.

15. tedkord

Posts: 17397; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

In fact, if you'll recall, the negotiations hung up for a bit because Apple wanted better prices than everyone else. Respect for the artist, indeed.

12. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

He is just QQ*ing because none uses his crap apple music....

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Awww poor artists... hardly making a buck... how will they get by

22. jsobotka

Posts: 54; Member since: Aug 21, 2009

You're kidding, right? Your sarcastic comment is either directed at 0.001% of the artists/bands out there (like Taylor Swift) that are making tons of money (in which case, your general statement is pretty ignorant). Or, you really think that all of these bands struggling to get by playing gigs 6-7 nights/week because their annual record sales of $100,000 * 20% that the label leaves them, divided by 5 members = $4000/year, well below minimum wage. Or, you just don't like music that much and couldn't give a crap what a hard-working musician generally makes.

17. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Wow, I hate Apple. They're hypocrites, follow unfair business practices, and they are so good at brainwashing all their followers. All they are interested in with this topic is getting rid of Spotify's free streaming so that a lot of those who use it will move to Apple Music if they are going have to pay.

20. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Of course he will say that, because they want an excuse to charge money for the music. If it was that bad, none of the artist would support it. The point od free streaming is it gets the music noticed faster. If people want it, they will go buy it. It's that simple. Apple offers a sample of the song. I cant choose all the time the song I want to buy just listening to 30 seconds. Also, the benefit of free streaming is, I can here the song as much as I like at no cost. People do click on ads and buy stuff. The return for that si free listening. If a person wants the song, so they can listen to it when they feel like it; they will buy it. He's just mad because the Apple Music model is a failure because Apple was streaming music via iTunes which they still do, and no one is going to buy a song they can hear for free.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apple still could have offered the service FREE for 3 months and simply paid the artist out of their pocket and just recouped the money when people signed up. They probably were afraid no one was gong to sign up and numbers show, not many did.

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