According to Variety sources, they claim that Sony Music chairman Doug Morris is departed the publisher at the end of March to help run a new label called 12 Tone, that will have a “partnership” with Apple. At this time, it’s not clear what Morris will be doing at 12 Tone, but it appears that former Def Jam chief Steve Bartels would join the team as well.
Noted by Variety, this would be a reunion for Morris and Iovine. The essentially worked together at universal Music Group. That’s where Morris was the chairman and Iovine ran the Interscope label. This relationship doesn’t seem like the influencing factor, but the execs will be familiar with one another as they move to form a partnership.
Aside from working together, there’s a chance that this could involve exclusives for Apple because after all, the company is ver fond of exclusives. With Morris being involved, things could be easier for Apple as it moves forward to more exclusives on its ecosystem. If you don’t know, Morris is one of the biggest business legends in the music industry. He led all three major music publishers (Sony, Warner and Universal) at various points in his career. Thus far, he’s been quite the asset to Sony, so the company losing Morris could be a noticeable loss. Whatever Morris decides to do with 12 Tone and its relationship with Apple, we’ll find out soon enough.