Are you still holding out for Apple Music to start offering a free, ad-supported tier of service? If so, comments that Jimmy Iovine made at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit are going to be a huge disappointment for you. The Apple Music executive called the model a “shell game,” according to c|net, and said that services offering a free ad-supported tier are “building an audience on the back of the artist.”
According to Cupertino, Apple Music had 11 million users as of August. Iovine said that Apple could quickly raise subscriber numbers to 500 million with a free, ad-supported model. “We don’t want to do that,” the former record producer said. “We believe that we’ve built something powerful enough and strong enough that it will work.”
Nobody knows just how strong the numbers of subscribers to Apple Music are now that the free trials are ending, because Cupertino isn’t saying. Iovine wouldn’t disclose any figures, only saying that he “wouldn’t be here if it weren’t doing well.”
Apple Music hasn’t had the best of reviews, thanks to a buggy service that caused the music libraries of some customers to disappear altogether. It’s also been criticized for being overwhelming and difficult to use. Even so, Cupertino is “very satisfied” with the service now, according to Iovine, and the tech giant says the service is doing well even though it won’t release any subscriber numbers.
It’s good to see the executives out talking about Apple Music and saying the service is doing well. I wish, though, that more details would be offered up, such as how many subscribers have stayed on after the end of the free trials. For now, we just have to wait to see if Cupertino eventually provides that information.