Apple doesn’t appear to be losing the executive behind its music streaming service. Jimmy Iovine, who came over from Beats after the acquisition was completed in 2014, denies the reports that he intended to leave the company later this year. Multiple outlets had reported, upon his shares vesting next summer, Iovine would exit and pursue new opportunities elsewhere.
The music industry legend sat down for an interview that covered his life, including his tenure at Apple. Iovine once again shares that Apple Music, his main project, streams tunes to more than 30 million subscribers while Beats continues to produce premium hardware.
When it comes to his now-debunked departure, Iovine says the media decided to take something so unimportant and make a big deal out of it. His contract does expire in August, and there is stock that vests in the same month. But Iovine won’t be leaving Apple. The shared love for musicians between he and his employer is why he plans to stay in the long-term.
Here’s what Iovine told Variety:
“I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band.”
Although he’s still able to work at a high level, Iovine does admit it may be time to slow down. Iovine points out, however, that he’s always going to be committed to scaling music streaming.
Apple Music currently sits behind Spotify as the world’s most popular music streaming service. As of early 2018, Spotify has 70 million subscribers and should be going public soon. Iovine’s been pushing Apple to engage with artists and listeners by creating a community that connects the two sides. It’s turned out to be successful, and Apple Music’s growth rate seems to be around 1 million subscribers per month.
Iovine did admit that, when his age hits the mid-70s, it may be time to retire and let everyone else figure out the music industry’s future.