Rapper and producer Dre (Andre Young) rarely speaks in the course of his duties at Apple, but he talks to Iovine every morning, Iovine said in the interview.
"Dre's purpose in life is to come up with something that moves the needle," Iovine told Variety. "He's done that really seriously a bunch of times. And now he's experimenting with video. And what he does will be unique, and he will get there. My responsibility to Apple and to him is to put him in that position where he can."
Bolstering Apple's video content is no side project. CEO Tim Cook told investors last month that the company's fastest growing segment, software and services, is helped by 150 million paid subscriptions, including Apple Music. As the cable media industry begins "to break down," Cook said, original programming, like Dre's "Vital Signs," will become more important for Apple.
"We're trying to make the music service a cultural point of reference, and that's why we're making video," Iovine told Variety. "We're making video for our Apple Music customers and our future customers."
Dre joined Apple in 2014 when the iPhone maker bought his headphone company, Beats, in one of its splashiest acquisitions yet. At the time, many questioned the deal.
As part of the deal, Apple acqui-hired Iovine, whose music industry connections helped Steve Jobs build the iPod. But the company also gained Dre, whose close relationship with Iovine dates back to the early '90s.