Ian Rogers, a key music executive at Apple, has resigned from the company, the Financial Times reports. The former Beats Music CEO was instrumental in developing Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station and helping the company move into the Spotify-dominated streaming music market.
Rogers came to Apple when the company absorbed Beats for $3 billion last summer. He poached renowned DJ Zane Lowe from the BBC and put him behind the wheel of Beats 1, Apple’s 24/7 radio station–one of the few Apple Music features that has been spared heavy criticism.
According to Re/code, Rogers’s decision to step down came as a shock to his colleagues: One coworker went so far as to say, “This was his dream job.”
The news of Rogers’s departure comes as Apple Music, which launched June 30, is nearing the end of its three-month free trial. The service allegedly crossed 11 million trial subscribers as of August 6, but it’s unclear how many of those users will want to shell out $10 a month once they have to start paying for a subscription. Some people likely opted to try Apple Music because it was free, but may revert to using Spotify’s free tier at the close of the trial. Rogers’s resignation, coupled with the uncertainty of Apple Music’s user base, could potentially raise red flags for people in the music industry who have thus far pledged their support for Apple. (Stand by for a letter penned by Taylor Swift.)
It seems Rogers is leaving the streaming music space altogether: The Financial Times writes that he will be moving on to a position at a “Europe-based company in an unrelated industry.”
[via Financial Times]