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MORRIS HIGH ON APPLE MUSIC, IOVINE DURING MIDEM KEYNOTE

Sony Music ruler Doug Morris was interviewed today in Cannes as MIDEM keynote speaker, offering illuminating anecdotes about his formative years in the business. During the Q&A, Morris also gave an upbeat take on Apple’s premium music streaming service, which he confirmed would be announced tomorrow at the WWDC, VentureBeat reported.

A highlight of that career was a 37-year partnership with Jimmy Iovine, first as record producer, then as label head and now as quarterback of Apple’s new undertaking, reporter Chris O’Brien wrote. Morris, who noted that he still talks to Iovine twice a day by phone, said the move by Apple to bring in Iovine was a brilliant one.

While Morris didn’t reveal any details about Apple’s pricing, he emphatically reiterated his advocacy for paid streaming services to the unlimited ad-supported model, adding that he expects the launch of Apple Music later this month to represent a “tipping point” that would accelerate the shift to streaming.

“What does Apple bring to this?” Morris said. “Well, they’ve got $178 billion dollars in the bank. And they have 800 million credit cards in iTunes. Spotify has never really advertised because it’s never been profitable. My guess is that Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business.

“A rising tide will lift all boats,” he added. “It’s the beginning of an amazing moment for our industry.”

On a related note, in an L.A. Times report on Apple’s entry into the streaming sector, USC music professor Mark Goldstein made a central point about the unfolding narrative as he speculated that the endeavor would probably be successful because of the company’s vast resources.

“This is great theater,” he pointed out.

 

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