(AllHipHop News) Jimmy Iovine is arguably one of the most influential people in the history of the music business.
The Brooklyn-born executive is partially responsible for the success of Interscope Records, Beats By Dr. Dre, and Apple Music.
Iovine sat down with Pharrell Williams’ Beats 1 Radio show OTHERtone, and he discussed what inspired him to leave the record industry for the tech world.
“In 2003, I met [Apple co-founder] Steve Jobs, and I felt about Steve Jobs the way I felt about the music industry when I first got into it,” said the entertainment biz veteran. “I got into the music business because I wasn’t cool and I wanted to be cool. So I figured I could at least get close to cool. When I saw Steve Jobs, I said, ‘Uh oh, the party’s at Steve’s house.’ They were the cool thing now. At that moment, I aimed my car outside the record business.”
The OTHERtone conversation also included Iovine speaking about new acts – because of their direct connection with fans – being able to sign label deals giving the artist more control and revenue.
“You have all these artists that are getting buzz, getting action on their music. Then what happens is all the labels bid,” Iovine stated.
In addition, he covered the power grab in the music space by concert promoters, corporate brands, streaming services, and YouTube.
“Then you add in that the labels haven’t done anything about YouTube. Now you got YouTube out there with 500 million people where you get your music very elegantly for free,” said Iovine. “Young artists like to chart so now you have Billboard counting YouTube plays the same as Spotify and Apple Music’s paid plays.”
He continued, “So [the artist goes,] ‘There are 500 million people on YouTube, so I’m gonna go promote my record there even though I get paid here, but I want a number 1 record.’ That’s called ‘fake news.'”
The 64-year-old near billionaire also warned that labels and performers need to focus more on the art and not just on profits.
“Right now, everyone wants to get paid and be famous. So touché. But the record industry, as it is right now, has to become part of the solution,” offered Iovine. “And part of the solution is not just saying, ‘You can’t do this. We have copyrights.’ If they want to do that, they should turn all of that toward where the music is free.”
During his tenure at Interscope, Iovine helped launch the careers of Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, The Neptunes, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Lady Gaga, and others.
The story of Jimmy Iovine and his longtime business partner Andre “Dr. Dre” Young is being explored in HBO’s upcoming 4-part documentary The Defiant Ones.