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Jimmy Iovine & Mary J. Blige discuss Apple Music ad, curation, & more in new interview

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Update 10:20PM ET: Jimmy Iovine has issued an apology to BuzzFeed News for his controversial quote regarding him believing women have a “difficult” time finding music:

“We created Apple Music to make finding the right music easier for everyone — men and women, young and old. Our new ad focuses on women, which is why I answered the way I did, but of course the same applies equally for men. I could have chosen my words better, and I apologize.”

Apple executive Jimmy Iovine and popular recording artist Mary J. Blige sat down with the hosts of CBS This Morning earlier today to discuss Apple Music. A couple of months back, Apple debuted a new TV ad for its music streaming service starring Blige along with actresses Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson. In the ad, the three stars described Apple music as the “Instant boyfriend mixtape service” and touted that the For You feature is the equivalent of having a boyfriend inside your computer.

In today’s interview with CBS, Iovine discussed the inspiration behind the ad, explaining that he believes women have trouble finding music to listen to (a quote some have found to be controversial). “Women find it very difficult at times – some women – to find music, …and Apple Music helps makes it easier with playlists curated by real people,” Iovine said. Jimmy touted that Apple Music playlists are created by humans, not by an “algorithm.”

For her part, Blige explained that being in the Apple Music ad meant a lot to her because Apple Music is the platform that she wishes she had built. When Iovine first presented it to her, Blige explained that she immediately wished she had done it herself.

Iovine went on to elaborate that he had a specific scenario in mind when thinking up the advertisement and Apple’s For You service. Iovine also noted that he originally wanted Oprah in the ad, but was unable to convince her.

I thought of a problem, you know: girls are sitting around, you know, talking about boys. Or complaining about boys when they’re hearts are broken or whatever. And they need music for that, right? So it’s hard to find the right music, you know. Not everybody has the right lists, or knows a DJ or something.”

Iovine also commented that Apple Music has “well over” 6.5 million paying subscribers, a number that Tim Cook initially revealed last month. Blige and Iovine then went on to talk about how streaming is the future of music. While Iovine noted that he initially wanted to work with Apple when he realized how ahead of the curve the company was in terms of digital offerings. Iovine has previously told this story.

You can watch the full CBS This Morning interview below:

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  1. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    I guess this is how the masses listens to music. Oh, OK. Well, I don’t consider myself part of the masses. Maybe that’s why I don’t really give a rip on what Iovine tells me. I actually don’t have a single album in my entire collection with his engineering or producing. He may have produced and engineered for some big names, but the actual work he was on, was not their best work, that’s what I’m noticing so to me, that makes Iovine more of a name dropper. I have some albums from the some of the artists he’s worked with, but he wasn’t part of those albums. Oops.

    • flaviosuave - 7 years ago

      Thanks for letting us all know. I, for one, am certainly impressed by the obvious superiority of your personal tastes!

  2. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    can we just gently put a gag on him and make him stop

  3. iSRS - 7 years ago

    Why aren’t you following the “faux outrage’ over his “comments” about women?

    Oh, I know, because what he said, in context, makes perfect sense. The ad focuses on women, he is on stage with a woman.

  4. sardonick - 7 years ago

    This is what qualifies as “controversial” today? What a sad apologist nation.

    • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

      it’s less this comment alone and more that almost everything he says from interviews to keynotes comes across as “aging music biz guy trying to be smoothly in touch with the absolutely huge world of music” and it reflects on Apple as a whole.

  5. Thomas Massengale - 7 years ago

    Tim Cook got sold a line on this one.

    Curated lists. Hahahahah. We make our own lists. And I certainly don’t need Jimmy Iovine minions curating my lists.

    And Beats Radio? Come on. What business has Apple got running a radio station, which is ALL that Beats One is. And not a very good one at that.

  6. patthecarnut - 7 years ago

    “she immediately wished she had done it herself” So did 200M other people.

    I could care less that Apple has people “curating” music. Just because they hire this tool, they now know music better than anyone listening to it? Give me a break. Pandora has been doing it with algorithms for years, and it works great. Before making human curated playlists, how about get Airplay working 100% of the time or numerous other functional things that don’t “just work” we can all use. I’m a huge Apple supporter but they are getting really good at creating “the best (blank) we’ve ever created” only to send it out half baked. I’m losing faith.

  7. pretsky - 7 years ago

    What a stupid comment from a stupid guy that stupid people have taken offense to. And a stupid service too.

  8. xprmntr - 7 years ago

    Apple is looking too desperate lately with all this publicly, they should let the quality of their products and services speak for themselves

  9. pretsky - 7 years ago

    I hate to say this but Apple is becoming bloated and disgusting. I still love my Apple products, but when I read about how aggressively they are expanding into all these nontraditional ventures I get disgusted. What the hell is wrong with just leaving iTunes as a media store and management application and finally working all the bugs out of it (and there are PLENTY of bugs)? This entire venture with “Beats” has been dubious – reminds me of “Ping”. I’m losing respect fast. I don’t want the same company that I buy a computer from to make a car. They are literally devouring industries as they push to be in our faces, competing to sell us every product that we buy. Will you buy Apple appliances? Dishwashers? Where does this end?

    • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

      The car idea dates back to well into the Steve days, to be fair…

      I agree but I’ll give this a chance.


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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