Apple had just launched its music streaming service but now has to contend with the loss of one of Apple Music's key players. The company confirmed that Ian Rogers has resigned but declined to offer more details.
Rogers came to Apple via the Beats acquisition last year, joining Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to become executives for the company. At Beats, he was in charge of streaming, so it was only natural that he would also be one of the people responsible for getting Apple Music off the ground. Specifically, he led developments for Beats 1, bringing in Zane Lowe from BBC radio to become presenter and producing a mix of shows from Los Angeles, New York and London.
With Apple Music recently launched, it comes as a surprise then that Rogers would be leaving the company. There aren't many details about his resignation but he is said to be jumping industries, leaving the west coast to work a company based in Europe.
With Rogers gone, it doesn't bode well for the newest player in the music streaming scene but Apple is unfazed, confident with the 11 million people that have so far signed for Apple Music's free trial. The real measure of their success, however, will come in September when the first batch of free trials end.
While 11 million does sound like a lot, it pales in comparison to the 75 million active users on Spotify or Pandora's 80 million. After the free trial, Apple Music users have the option to subscribe to the service for $10 a month individually or take advantage of a family plan which gives up to six people access to more than 30 million songs for $15 a month. Beats 1, however, will remain accessible free of charge.
Streaming is steadily becoming the preferred form for digital music, leading to a decline in download sales. In 2014, album downloads fell by 9 percent in the United States while individual track sales dropped by 12 percent, based on data from Nielsen Music. However, streaming demand jumped to over 50 percent, with 164 billion songs being streamed.
Beats 1 was highly appreciated for its playlist but the Apple Music app was not received as warmly because it was too complex to use. Apple has released a software update in mid-August though to improve syncing with the iCloud Music Library and managing offline tracks.