Jimmy Iovine may depart his post as head of Apple’s music streaming service in August of this year, according to a report from Billboard today. The timing coincides with Iovine’s Apple shares fully vesting, the report says, following Iovine and Dr. Dre’s sale of headphone maker Beats to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Under Iovine, Apple Music has grown to 30 million paid users, putting its popularity at a little under half of Spotify’s 70 million monthly paid subscribers, a milestone the Swedish-based music streaming service announced earlier today. Still, that Apple was able to build its streaming service to that size in such a short period of time, effectively keeping pace with Spotify’s growth, is nonetheless impressive. The success has earned Iovine the respect among technologists that he’s long enjoyed as a music industry executive.
It’s unclear what Iovine plans to do if he does indeed depart Apple later this year. But with a substantial payout undoubtedly on the table, Iovine could make any number of other business deals or investments in either the tech or recording industries. Billboard cites an interview it conducted with Iovine back in September in which the exec commented on figures released by Goldman Sachs saying music streaming could grow the record business to unprecedented heights over the next decade. Iovine was not convinced. “There’s just a problem here that needs some sort of solution, and I want to contribute to it,” he told Billboard. “Goldman Sachs may think it’s solved, but I don’t. We’re not even close.”