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Apple online music service sufers key departure

Apple online music service sufers key departure

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's online music subscription service is losing a key player as millions of listeners near the end of a free three-month trial period that has drawn mixed reviews.

Ian Rogers, part of a team acquired last year, is leaving Apple to take a job at an unidentified company in Europe. Apple confirmed Rogers' departure Friday without providing additional details.

Apple's $3 billion acquisition of Beats last year was driven in large part by the iPhone maker's desire to draw upon the musical chops of Rogers, longtime recording executive Jimmy Iovine and hip hop artist Dr. Dre. Both Iovine and Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, remain with Apple. After working with the Beats team, Apple launched its music streaming service in late June to compete with more established rivals such as Spotify and Pandora.

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