Music fans have been accustomed to free music for years, especially in hip-hop where artists give away mixtapes/full albums regularly.
However, not everyone agrees with the model. Specifically, industry veteran Jimmy Iovine.
“Free is a real issue,” Iovine said during the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco this week, according to The Verge. “This whole thing about freemium, maybe at one time we needed it. But now it’s a shell game.
“These companies are building an audience on the back of the artist,” he continued.
Iovine is referring to Spotify, which offers both a free streaming service and a paid subscription.
He says if Apple offered a free tier of its Apple Music service, it could amass hundreds of millions of users. But, he believes, as it is now, they’ve “built something powerful enough that it will work.”
Both Iovine and Dr. Dre took on executive roles at Apple last year, after the tech company acquired the Beats brand for $3 billion. They’ve since been involved in the launch of Apple’s new streaming service, Apple Music.