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Music Mogul Jimmy Iovine Leaving Apple? He Says No

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Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre

The music mogul was on stage at the Grammy Museum for a screening to promote the Grammy-nominated HBO documentary "The Defiant Ones", and during the following Q&A he shot down the reports that claimed that the end of his contract would coincide with his departure from the company (we first saw the news via Variety). The executive said he is committed to doing whatever Eddy Cue, Tim Cook and Apple need him to do to take the service all the way.

"All this stuff you're seeing in the newspapers, let me tell you, my stock vested a long time ago".

The former Interscope CEO joined Apple in 2014 after selling Beats, the the music service and electronics business that he and Dr. Dre co-founded, to the tech giant for $3 billion. Apple declined to comment. Iovine actually called it annoying and was upset that the media made it "all about money". His stock answer, when asked what will happen when that contract is up in August, has been a version of "I have no idea what I'll be doing then". That's why those articles annoyed me, because it had nothing to do with reality.

Of course, with a market cap in excess of $900 million (nearly $1 trillion, at current share prices) Beats, Apple Music, Beats Radio 1 and additional initiatives by Iovine and his team are "a tiny blip" in the Apple ecosystem, says one insider, as is a payout of almost $1 billion. Apple Music has seen steady growth in subscribers, hitting the 30 million mark in September, directly competing with Spotify, which has more than 70 million subscribers. However, according to Business Insider, he probably has been a dealmaker working on Apple Music to gather interviews with original radio shows and to work with record labels.

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The industry veteran also cautioned against complacency, even as streaming is driving a music industry turnaround: "Everybody's talking about the great oil gusher, but it's not going to scale unless streaming gets more interesting". "I love Apple, and I really love musicians".

As for the future, Iovine says he will help "streaming come to scale".

As for Iovine, he says he's not done at Apple - at least not for now.

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