Citing unnamed sources, Billboard has reported that Iovine may depart his post as head of Apple’s music streaming service in August 2018. Interestingly, the news of Iovine’s exit coincides with his Apple shares fully vesting, the report says, following Iovine and Dr Dre’s sale of Beats to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. Iovine’s ties to Apple go back to 2003 when he first met Apple founder Steve Jobs and executie Eddy Cue, and was a key proponent of Apple’s iTunes and iPod.
Under Iovine, Apple Music has grown to 30 million paid users since its June 2015 launch. That success is, in part, due to Iovine’s focus on content, including developing original programming.
It is unclear what is Iovine’s next step if he does plan to move, or who would be replacing him. But when asked what he planned to do after Apple Music, Iovine told Billboard in a September interview that he was focused for the time being on bringing music streaming up to speed. Disputing a Goldman Sachs report that predicted subscription steaming would propel the global record business to $41 billion by 2030, he said, “I’m 64 years old. I have no idea [what I’m doing next]. There’s just a problem here that needs some sort of solution, and I want to contribute to it. Goldman Sachs may think it’s solved, but I don’t. We’re not even close.”