While it still has a long way to go to catch up to Spotify, Iovine would leave Apple Music in pretty good shape. Perhaps that less-than-rosy outlook also has something to do with Iovine leaving Apple Music.
Although Iovine does not have any official title at Apple he has been heavily involved in Apple Music since it was launched in 2015 and has negotiated many deals for the company.
The impending departure of Iovine was first reported by industry blog Hits Daily Double. Jimmy Iovine has helped Apple Music reach 30 million paid users, nearly half way to Spotify's 70 million monthly paid subscribers. Since the juicy buyout, Iovine has been playing an active role at the consumer electronics giant, particularly within Apple Music. The departure is said to be due to Iovine's shares in Apple fully vesting.
Exactly what this means for Apple Music is anyone's guess.
Replacing Iovine will prove very hard, however. That contrasts starkly with Spotify's "freemium funnel" approach, which is rapidly boosting paying subscribers - and possibly minting a new class of billionaires in the process. Iovine worked with Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, U2, Eminem and Tupac during his career in the record business.