Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M
CEO, Beats Electronics
POWER MOVE: With Interscope breaking artists as diverse as Kendrick Lamar and Phillip Phillips, Iovine prepares to leverage the Beats brand with a new curated streaming service.
THE RUNDOWN: The future of the music business lies in subscription services, Jimmy Iovine told Billboard in this year’s first cover story (dated Jan. 12). The crystal ball pronouncement was no surprise, given audio company Beats Electronics’ purchase of digital music service MOG and its proposed midyear relaunch as a “curated subscription service that doesn’t exist right now.”
According to label chief Iovine, a former engineer and producer who also heads up Beats, “The industry desperately needs subscription to get the business back to where it was, and everyone is onboard now.” Beats, which has a 60% market share in North America in the premium headphone market, is looking to expand into Asia and South America this year.
Few executives wear as many hats as Iovine, who stepped away from day-to-day operations at Interscope Geffen A&M last year to assume the title of chairman, and oversaw recording projects as an in-house mentor on “American Idol” and restructured the financing of Beats. Interscope had a good year breaking Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons and Lana Del Rey, as well as beginning work with Schoolboy Q, Jessie Ware and Jamie N Commons. Iovine was also the song picker who selected “Home” for Phillip Phillips to perform as his coronation single on the season 11 finale of “American Idol”; it has since sold 3.8 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“Jimmy is fantastic each week, preparing the singers for their next performance,” says “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest (No. 59). “He is instrumental in the growth process during the week-to-week phases of ‘American Idol,’ bringing incredible access to music and artists while also finding the right records and the right producers.”
Jimmy Iovine photo by Austin Hargrave