Apple VP: ‘music is the No. 1 priority’ for Apple Computer

“Apple Computer Inc. has emerged as an increasingly important player in the music industry because of the success of its iPod digital players and its online music store,” Reuters reports. “Hopes are high among the makers of instruments and accessories that Apple, with its recently introduced ‘GarageBand’ program, can have the same energizing effect on their market that the computer maker’s iTunes digital music store has had for recorded music.”

“‘For us, all of a sudden music is the No. 1 priority of the company,’ said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of applications marketing. ‘We’re trying to be a part of the music evolution overall. In a digital environment, our iPods and iTunes are making people excited again about acquiring music. Now we’ve added musical creation to that lifestyle,'” Reuters reports. “The GarageBand program essentially turns a Macintosh computer into a recording studio, enabling users to write and record their own compositions by plugging a guitar or keyboard into the PC and sampling from prerecorded tracks.”

“That type of software has long been available from other firms, but analysts say Apple’s marketing clout and easy-to-use design will kick-start the market. ‘It’s a pretty significant innovation for a targeted audience of amateurs,’ said Phil Leigh, analyst with Inside Digital Media. ‘I would say this niche market has historically been in the tens of millions of dollars, but Apple could theoretically triple the market. If it expanded it into the PC market, it could increase the market tenfold,'” Reuters reports.

Reuters reports., “Noah Dater, head of marketing for SoundToys, a maker of ‘plug-ins’ that extend the functionality of programs like GarageBand, said Apple created an attractive entry point for teenagers with dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom. ‘We’re excited because the level of knowledge among 13-year-olds will improve with GarageBand, who will then move up to more complex programs,’ Dater said.”

Full article here.


  1. What’s amazing about GarageBand is the distinctions it doesn’t make. MIDI, real instruments, and loops are all created equal. With professional apps, you generally need to learn a new set of concepts for each thing you want to do.

  2. Macs have always been the computer of choice for music professionals and advanced amateurs. GarageBand and Apple’s music focus will make the Mac the obvious choice for beginners interested in music.

  3. Apple needs to have a contest. The best song written with GarageBand should be put on iTMS and the winner gets a contract with Apple for future songs.

    This will help get Apple to deal directly with new artists, bypass the RIAA and make more money.

  4. They better get their priorities straight. They should be focusing on marketing OS X and their computers and trying to get more PC users to switch. They should also be focusing on IT and industry to switch over to mac. They should also be focusing on making OS X better than it already is.
    Music should be a distant second priority. Sure they’re making sales b/c of the iPod…and everyone thought that the iPods simplicity and ease of use would lure people to the Mac but it hasn’t. Apples market share has DROPPED not increased. This is a huge problem.
    Apple should make new ads about switching, Mac OS X and its stability and the wonders of Apple computers and stop airing all these stupid iPod ads. Air ads about your computers dammit! Once people switch they will buy an iPod anyway.

  5. [rant]
    While it’s good that Apple has a great, popular and very profitable product, personally I don’t like this total shift in priorities. Apple after all is still a computer company and iPod is based on Apple’s philosophy of designing computers.

    There is no doubt that even after iPod is launched, Apple still managed to design PMG5, Xserve G5 and PB and put their innovations to work, but what about iBook and iMac and eMac. Don’t tell me they have lower priority than music.

  6. Do people really think that the Mac platform will suffer because Apple makes music a priority?

    Here’s a thought… long term, the opposite is true. Short term, Apple can manage more than one thing at a time.

    Besides, calling something the “#1 priority” is just nice words. (Trustworthy Computing, anyone?) You can’t take that and infer dollars or effort being taken away from something else. The operational details of that “priority” are not known to us. Apple has plenty of cash to put into developing the next iPod without firing OS X programmers, or whatever.

  7. re:Apple’s market share has DROPPED not increased.

    based on what? also keep in mind that even if it drops, market share is different than user base. market share is apple’s percentage of the computer’s sold in that time period, user base in actual computers in use. the last documented numbers I saw on user base was close to 10%. that means that macs are usable for end users for longer periods without replacement. Apple is one of 2 computer companies that has shown a profit in the last 2 years. As long as Apple is making money and putting out great products, what difference does market share make?

  8. they are making more off the music so they will focus on that apple is a business there goal is to make money music is where they see the money so that is what they want to do

  9. I personally think that GarageBand will drive Mac sales in a way that not even the iPod ever will. Making music a big priority is smart — everybody loves music. Look what you can do with music on a Mac. Look at what you can do with music on a PC. The difference is obvious.

  10. Several pundits predicted that, with the success of the first iPod, Apple would switch priorities and become an electronics maker instead of a computer maker. While they didn’t get it exactly right, they were close. Apple appears to be pulling out of Education market–a key market for increasing the Mac’s market share. They also may be pulling out of enterprise–at least out of the office. Jobs said that “iLife was the Office for the rest of your life”, and that seems to be what Apple is focusing on–computing outside the office.

    Personally, office computing is always going to be run on the cheapest hardware regardless of operating costs. That’s just the way upper management thinks. Also, offices are already full of computers, and will usually just upgrade rather than try something completely new. Home computing, however, is a different story on both counts.

    I am sorry to see Apple pull out of the war for the office, but I think they are headed in the right direction. If the pathetic state of Windows security isn’t enough to switch ’em, then Apple’s concentrated focus won’t change anything. Better to focus on a more open market.

  11. Well all I know is I shelled out $49 for iLife, $99 for the Jam pack, $99 for the M-Audio Keystation 49e – USB Midi Keyboard, and $149 for the M-Audio MobilePre USB Audio Interface so I can connect my bass, guitars. microphone and monitors.

    I’ve been making music for years and using macs for years, but that’s the first $400 I’ve invested in making music on my Mac since I bought a MacRecorder back in the 1980’s. $400 is a lot of money, but It’s a complete package (for me, with what I already have.)

    But that is all besides the point. What is really important is that I haven’t been this excited about my music in years!

  12. I think AL, Has an Excellent Idea.
    Brilliant really…
    “Apple needs to have a contest. The best song written with GarageBand should be put on iTMS and the winner gets a contract with Apple for future songs.

    This will help get Apple to deal directly with new artists, bypass the RIAA and make more money.”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.