Apple loses key music executive who joined company after $3 billion acquisition of Beats

Markets Associated Press

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.

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Ian Rogers 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.

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.

Apple says 11 million people have tried its music service during its trial period.