Apple Puts Iovine to Work on Landing iTunes-exclusive Album Deals

Apple wants exclusive album releases from top artists for the iTunes Store, and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine is working at getting deals in place. Apple bought Beats Music in 2014 and Mr. Iovene has plenty of connections in the music industry, which makes him just the man to get those content deals in place.

Jimmy Iovine working on exclusive album deals for iTunes StoreJimmy Iovine working on exclusive album deals for iTunes Store

Apple wants to recreate the success it had in 2013 with its exclusive release of Beyoncé's album Beyoncé by Beyoncé, according to the New York Post. The sources who were willing to spill the beans on Mr. Iovine's negotiations didn't say which artists he's talking with, but he does have close ties to Gwen Stepani, Pharrel, and Kanye West, so it's possible he's starting there.

Beyoncé's exclusive iTunes album launch sold 828,000 copies in its first three days and was named the fastest selling album ever for the iTunes Store. Apple is hoping to recreate that success with more artists, and make the iTunes Store the go-to place for new album releases.

Those deals could also help boost subscribers to Beats Music, which is the streaming music service Apple picked up as part of its US$3 billion purchase of Beats. The service currently has about 300,000 subscribers, but that would likely increase with exclusive album deals.

Swinging the exclusive deals will take some work, however, because record labels don't take kindly to artists signing distribution contracts outside of the traditional channels. For artists, it could give them a little more control over their work, and Beyoncé'a success shows it's possible to release a mainstream album without relying only on the big record labels.

For Apple, exclusive album deals will give it more cred in the music industry, and it could help boost declining music sales, too.