Can Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine Rescue Sound? How Interscope Is Rethinking the Record Business

November 23rd, 2009 by Jayson Rodriguez Leave a reply »

Photo: Kambouris/WireImage

If it seems like Dr. Dre has spent more time promoting his signature Beats By Dre headphones than finishing up his long-awaited Detox, he has a good reason for it: according to the legendary West Coast producer and his label boss, Interscope, Geffen and A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine, they’re hard at work on a noble crusade — saving the music industry from digital sound.

“There’s two things happening at once, it’s very important that we fix digital sound,” Iovine tells Rolling Stone of the state of the record biz. “Digital sound is damaging music, it’s damaging the artists. It’s so degrading. We’re the first industry to ever downgrade the quality of our product. It’s crazy. You go from a master [recording] to a CD quality, which is somewhat downgrading in the first place. Then you go to a computer where these gigantic companies spend 50 cents on the sound [for each unit]. Then you rip it onto an MP3. It’s like taking the Beatles remasters and playing them through a portable television.”

The Death of High Fidelity: read more about the sound wars.

Sitting in a small make-shift greenroom inside a New York City retail space last week, Dre and Iovine chatted about the launch of Club Beats, an in-store technology hub created in partnership between Beats By Dre, Monster and Best Buy. Ever since the early 2000s, physical album sales have been on the decline. And digital sales haven’t exactly made the pie whole again for labels when it comes to the revenue that was once generated from selling CDs. So in the “360″ era, where music moguls are looking to partner with artists on a variety of things, from publishing to touring to merchandise, you can see why Iovine is eager to push Dr. Dre-endorsed headphones and laptops.

If technology...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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