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Former Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers Is Leaving Apple

Apple is losing one of the masterminds behinds its Apple Music subscription service: Ian Rogers, who served as Beats Music’s CEO until it got acquired by Apple, is leaving the company.

The news of Rogers’ departure was first reported by the Financial Times, and has since been confirmed by Apple.

Rogers was the driving force behind Beats1, Apple’s live online radio station, and was responsible for the hire of BBC1 DJ Zane Lowe. Before that, he was the CEO of Beats Music, the online music subscription service that Apple bought a little over a year ago as part of its $3 billion Beats Electronics acquisition.

Rogers has largely stayed out of the spotlight since he joined Beats Music in early 2013. Public attention instead focused on Jimmy Iovine, the longtime music industry executive who co-founded Beats with Dr. Dre.

But Rogers has been a pioneer of digital music in his own right. He started out building the Beastie Boys’ first web presence in the early Nineties and was part of the team that built Winamp, the first popular MP3 playback software. Rogers went on to oversee Yahoo’s digital music strategy, including the company’s first music subscription service, only to leave the job in frustration about shortcomings of digital music services in 2008.

Rogers then founded Topspin, an artist services company that eventually got acquired by Beats Music. Traces of that work can still be found in Apple Music’s product, which is attempting to offer artists their own social network for interacting with — and eventually also selling things to — their fans.

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