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By Angela George, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17989816

Apple's Jimmy Iovine Says All Music Streaming Services The Same

Fatea Calls Out The Hypocrisy

You may or may not have seen an article on the BBC, "Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine says streaming services are 'too similar'" in which the once legendary producer bemoans the lack of diversity within the streaming and downloading to which the obvious answer is "no sh#t Sherlock".

He pretty much goes on to admit that the streaming services are pretty much running a cartel, charging the same prices for the same content. Ok cartel may be too strong a word, there may not be actual collusion between the providers, but the result is the same. Ok nothing too shocking so far, now we get to the really interesting bit, well the first of two.

"And it's really nice. You get whatever song you want, you get your playlists - but there's got to be more interaction between the artist and the audience.

"Sooner or later, something's got to give," he said, indicating that Apple Music wanted more original content.

"Netflix [is] spending $6bn (£4.2bn) a year on original content," said Iovine. "They have a unique catalogue and they charge you $10.99."

So let's look at those last two sentences again shall we? Apple Music want more original content and Netflix is spending $6 billion a year on original content. So Jimmy let's get this absolutely straight, just so I don't misunderstand you. Netflix is spending billions on creating new content for their platform and consequently have shedloads of original content. Apple, the world's richest company doesn't spend billions of dollars a year encouraging artists to create new music and is bemoaning the lack of original content on its streaming platform, well I'm no rocket scientist, but I can see the problem right there.

Rather than expect, often cash poor, musicians to create original content and then license it exclusively to you, why not invest some of those billions into those highly creative artists so that they can afford to make new albums, tour them etc and then let Apple share in that benefit by selling the exclusive content in the way Netflix has, it's not like Apple is short of the money.

Why isn't Apple investing in music in the same way it's investing in film, why are its investments in music about buying technology and paying big names to front radio shows.

CD and Vinyl sales are once again outstripping download sales, I don't think that's coincidence, if you really want the music industry and the streaming services to be really different and genuinely competitive then as an Apple Music Executive, Mr Iovine, you have to step up to the plate, start investing in musicians and the creative process and be part of the solution, not the problem.

Neil King

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