Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine has denied reports that he’s planning to leave the company in August when the last of his Apple shares vest under the terms of its 2014 acquisition of Beats Electronics.
The reports emerged earlier this month, but in an appearance at a promotional event for HBO documentary ‘The Defiant Ones’ Iovine slapped them down with some vigour, according to Variety.
“I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in two and a half years the service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run. But there’s still a lot more we’d like to do. I am committed to doing whatever Eddy, Tim and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band,” said Iovine.
“All this stuff you’re seeing in the newspapers, let me tell you, my stock vested a long time ago. We need Donald Trump here to call it ‘fake news’. There is a tiny portion of stock that vests in August, but that’s not what I think about. My contract is up in August, but the funny thing is, I don’t have a contract. I have a deal, and certain things happen along that deal. The bottom line is I’m loyal to the guys at Apple.”
Iovine has been a colourful figurehead for Apple Music and a dynamic presence within the company, although it’s also true that Apple has built a talent roster that looks able to thrive and prosper when he does eventually leave.
For now, though, Iovine maintains that he is sticking around “to help streaming come to scale” which judging by his comments at the event, revolves around developing the kind of original content that has fuelled Netflix’s growth, but around music.
“They have a little thing called $6 billion in original content. HBO has $3 billion, Amazon probably has $4 billion. Well, guess how much original content streaming has: zero! Fundamentally. All the catalogues are exactly the same…”