Beats CEO spent years trying to convince Steve Jobs to do a music service

beats audio jimmy

This is pretty interesting. Former chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M and Beats Audio CEO Jimmy Iovine recently sat down for an interview to discuss the popular headphone-maker’s upcoming streaming music service, Project Daisy.

During the conversation, Iovine talked about his relationship with Apple, and more specifically Steve Jobs. And he said that he spent at least three years trying to convince the then-CEO to do a subscription-based streaming music service…

Here’s an excerpt from Iovine’s interview with AllThingsD:

“In 2002, 2003, Doug asked me to go up to Apple and see Steve. So I met him and we hit it off right away. We were really close. We did some great marketing stuff together: 50 Cent, Bono, Jagger, stuff for the iPod — we did a lot of stuff together.

But I was always trying to push Steve into subscription. And he wasn’t keen on it right away. [Beats co-founder] Luke Wood and I spent about three years trying to talk him into it. He was there, not there … he didn’t want to pay the record companies enough. He felt that they would come down, eventually.

I don’t know what [Apple media head] Eddy Cue would say — I’m seeing him soon — but I think in the end Steve was feeling it, but the economics …he wanted to pay the labels [for subscriptions], but [the fees were] not going to be acceptable to them.”

Of course, Iovine’s comments come at an interesting time, as rumors of Apple launching a streaming music service continue to heat up. The Cupertino company is widely expected to launch a Pandora and Spotify competitor later this year.

While Iovine’s pitch to Jobs was for a subscription-based service, it’s believed that Apple’s upcoming ‘iRadio’ service will be free to users with the support of iAds. But the last we heard, record labels weren’t exactly keen on Apple’s proposal.

Regardless, it’s always cool to hear first-hand accounts from folks who worked with Steve.