Exclusive: Apple's Cook, music mogul Iovine discuss new music service

Wed Mar 6, 2013 2:15am EST
 
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By Poornima Gupta and Ronald Grover

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Apple Inc has held talks with Beats Electronics LLC, the audio technology firm co-founded by influential hip-hop producer Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, on a potential partnership involving Beats' planned music-streaming service, three people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine during a visit to Los Angeles in late February to find out more about Beats' "Project Daisy", a music subscription service the company announced in January but with scant detail, the sources said.

Apple's Internet products chief Eddy Cue, a key player in setting up its iTunes Music Store, also joined the meeting, at which Cook expressed interest in Daisy's business model and its rollout plans, although the two did not discuss specifics of a deal, the sources said.

The meeting between Cook and Iovine, who is also chairman of music company Interscope-Geffen-A&M, was "informational" and covered a broad range of music-related topics, the sources said.

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr and Beats declined to comment.

The iPhone maker has been widely reported to be considering a music-streaming service to complement iTunes, the largest repository of music for sale.

Beats, known for its stylistic, distinctive headphones, has a partnership with Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp, an Apple rival.

In a boost for the company, Beats said on Tuesday it had secured $60 million in funding for Daisy from a group of investors including Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik, Fort Worth billionaire Lee M. Bass, and Australian financier James Packer. The funding will bankroll the music service's launch in late 2013.   Continued...

 
Apple CEO Tim Cook waves at the end of Apple Inc.'s iPhone media event in San Francisco, California September 12, 2012. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach