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Jimmy Iovine Is Officiating a Marriage of Tech and the Arts

His job history reads more like an encyclopedia of music-industry positions than a résumé. Over five decades he has done everything from sweeping out recording studios (his first gig) to producing (John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith) to founding a record label (Interscope), which he guided through the CD heyday of the late ’90s, followed by the turmoil kicked off by file-sharing sites in the early 2000s. The rise of Napster and its successors prompted Iovine to undertake a kind of listening tour to figure out how technology and the arts might coexist. “I met with a lot of tech companies when Napster hit,” he says, “and no matter where I went, there was a real cultural impasse.”