As part of the transaction, Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine joined Apple to help run the latter's Apple Music streaming music operation, and the Beats 1 streaming radio station. However, back in September, he talked about a desire to solve problems in the streaming music industry once he leaves Apple. It's unknown what the 64-year-old music mogul will do next.
Apple Music now has 30 million subscribers, a number far less than the ambitious goals Apple had laid out during its launch in 2015.However, earlier this week the industry leader Spotify announced that it has 70 million subscribers and it seems Apple has a lot of ground to cover to catch up with the Swedish company founded by programmer Daniel Ek. Given that the company was signed over with a $3 billion deal, Iovine might also be looking to retire after Apple Music. As for overall users, we didn't get an update on that, but Spotify this past summer said that its service has upwards of 140 million users, the majority of which presumably take advantage of Spotify's ad-supported free tier. Now Daniel Ek has 70 million subscribers, and is headed for a $20 billion IPO this year.
But while these subscriptions numbers are impressive, Iovine wasn't convinced that streaming companies, in their current form, could be profitable.
According to reports, sources reveal that Iovine is unlikely to stay in the company even if he were to receive a new offer. Its sales in 2016 did double - but there are still questions about longer term profitability.
On the other hand, you don't actually need a big-shot music executive to launch a music subscription service - just ask Spotify, run by a Swedish programmer who had no exposure to the music industry when he started the company. Perhaps, mused Iovine, Amazon might simply come along with its own cheaper streaming service, and dominant the streaming industry - perhaps without making any money.
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