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Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine says women have a hard time finding music

FILE - In this June 8, 2015 file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, hugs Beats by Dre co-founder and Apple employee Jimmy Iovine at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco when Apple announced Apple Music, an app that combines a 24-hour, seven-day live radio station called "Beats 1" with an on-demand music streaming service. Apple Inc. says it has 15 million users on its streaming-music service, including 6.5 million paying subscribers. The Wall Street Journal says ( ) in a report from Laguna Beach, California, posted early Tuesday, Oct. 20 on its website that Apple launched Apple Music on June 30 and offered every user a three-month trial period. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
A pat on the back for Jimmy Iovine.
By Alice Truong
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Thank goodness women have Apple Music to help them find songs online. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the millions of tracks available on streaming services, you know?

Jimmy Iovine, head of Apple’s streaming service, went on CBS This Morning with Mary J. Blige to talk about the company’s new commercial in which gal pals Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, and Blige prep dinner and dance to tunes streamed over Apple Music.

Apple is clearly trying to appeal to women, who apparently aren’t very good at finding songs, according to Iovine.

“I’ve always known that women find it very difficult at times—some women—to find music,” he said. “And this helps makes it easier with playlists curated by real people.”

Of course, Apple has billed its service as the best of both worlds—”made with algorithms but with a human touch,” he added.

Iovine continued, explaining the thinking behind the commercial:

I just thought of a problem, you know, girls sitting around talking about boys, right, or complaining about boys when they’re heartbroken or whatever. They need music for that, right? So it’s hard to find the right music. Not everyone has the right list or knows a DJ or something. So you need great lists. You need great lists for dinner. You need great lists for exercising. You need great lists for moments like that.”

Perhaps, but music is inherently subjective and discovery is a problem all the major streaming services are trying to crack. I must say, as a woman who’s been using Apple Music since its launch, I’m just as bad at finding music today as when I used Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Google Play Music, and Amazon Prime Music. Maybe I’m not doing this right.

Update: An Apple representative sent Quartz the following statement from Iovine:

We created Apple Music to make finding the right music easier for everyone — men and women, young and old. Our new ad focuses on women, which is why I answered the way I did, but of course the same applies equally for men. I could have chosen my words better, and I apologize.


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