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Has Apple Been Considering a Subscription Music Service Since 2003? So Says Jimmy Iovine...

Related: Apple, Digital Music, Beats

Talking to All Things Digital about the launch of the new Beats Electronics Digital Music Service, CEO Jimmy Iovine revealed that the idea was one he'd discussed with famed Apple CEO Steve Jobs --- 10 years ago.

"In 2002, 2003, Doug asked me to go up to Apple and see Steve. So I met him and we hit it off right away. We were really close. We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod - we did a lot of stuff together.

But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn't keen on it right away. [Beats co-founder] Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it. He was there, not there ... he didn't want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually.

I don't know what [Apple media head] Eddy Cue would say - I'm seeing him soon - but I think in the end Steve was feeling it, but the economics ...he wanted to pay the labels [for subscriptions], but [the fees were] not going to be acceptable to them."

Earlier this week, Beats Electronics LLC (Beats), the leading audio brand co-founded by legendary artist and producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine, announced a new music service, project "Daisy" and the appointment of Ian Rogers as CEO. Rogers will oversee the direction, vision and strategy for project "Daisy" and the talented team developing the service.

Simultaneously, Rogerswill step into the leadership position at MOG, the streaming music service Beats acquired in 2012.

Effective immediately,Rogers reports directly to Beats CEO and Co-founder Jimmy Iovine and President and COO Luke Wood and is based out of the company's Santa Monica headquarters. The new service will benefit from the creative vision of music icon and newly appointed Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor and is set to launch in late 2013 as a stand-alone company under the Beats Electronics umbrella.

"What's missing from the digital music landscape is a cultural context," said Iovine. "We need to bring an emotional connection back to the act of music discovery. With Trent and now Ian we have the right team in place to do it".

Most recently the CEO of Topspin and formerly the GM of Yahoo! Music, Rogers brings to Beats both technology and music industry savvy, along with a unique understanding of the music business from the artist's point of view. His track record for successfully joining product, promotion, and direct-to-consumer marketing sets a compelling stage for both MOG and "Daisy" within the burgeoning and competitive digital music space.

"For Ian, innovation and disruption is a concept he has mastered- he is able to instinctively identify the opportunities for growth and improvement that exist in the digital music space better than anyone I have ever met and he knows what it takes to win," said Luke Wood. "There is no one better for this role."

Rogers, firmly committed to championing the artist community, will remain on the Topspin board of directors and serve as Executive Chairman. Beats Electronics will make a substantial investment in Topspin to help create meaningful business opportunities for artists inside project "Daisy". For more information visit Topspin's blog at http://topspinmedia.com/blog.

"After years of fighting and uncertainty, it's now undeniable all the world's music will be available on every device by just clicking play. However, the current streaming experiences aren't good enough. They aren't good enough for fans, whoneed it to be easier to find music they love. And they aren't good enough for artists, who want to grow their audiences and make money." said Rogers. "This is the opportunity I've been working toward my entire career. "



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