“Jimmy Iovine. Street smart but uneducated. Can he not read a teleprompter or just not read? Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave. Steve rehearsed, had to get it perfect. Jimmy looks like he just rolled out of bed. A bad day for music, a great day for tech,” Bob Lefsetz writes for The Lefsetz Letter. “Historically the music business has been built on relationships and intimidation. I won’t say they’re irrelevant in tech, but they’re barely in the back seat. Furthermore, who cares about record labels getting paid? Did you see that ‘Rolling Stone’ graph charting rising ticket prices? They’ve even outpaced the price of a college education! You’ve got to take a loan out to go to the show and the labels and artists can’t stop bitching about getting paid. Ends up looking like greed, it only alienates the paying public.”
“Give Jimmy credit, he’s trying to solve the music business’s problems. Although you wonder what team he’s on,” Lefsetz writes. “But it’s a walled garden. That certainly didn’t work at Beats Music. Furthermore, curated playlists are better than algorithms but I’m still not sure I care about almost all of them. The Beats Music playlists were a five minute diversion, I’m not sure they’ll be all that important here. We don’t want our machines to tell us what to listen to but our friends. Social media is more important than Jimmy’s team of music experts. Because we don’t know who they are and why should we trust them?”
“Having said all that… putting all music features in one place is a good idea. But if the Connect elements are behind the paywall… they’re a nonstarter,” Lefsetz writes. “And they only work if Apple gains 60%+ market share, otherwise we still need to find this information elsewhere, so Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Wikipedia are still important. Is Connect the new Ping? Maybe…”
Tons more about all of the WWDC announcements, from Bill Hader (hated it) to Beats 1 (good idea), in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Ignore Lefsetz’s non-music impressions. He just doesn’t get much of it (for one example, iOS 9’s Proactive is going to be used by everybody because it just happens; users don’t have to do anything). But, with music, he’s onto something. We’ve always had the inkling that Steve Jobs understood exactly what Jimmy Iovine was, but that, perhaps, Jimmy bamboozled Tim Cook with bullshit. $3 billion for Beats was a wild overpayment for shitty headhones and a music service with no subscribers (not that Apple couldn’t afford it 50 times over, thanks in large part to Cook himself, BTW). But, Lefsetz’s point of having a music industry insider build a music service isn’t really the Apple way, as any Apple University grad should be able to tell you.
We didn’t build the Mac for anybody else. We built it for ourselves. We were the group of people who were going to judge whether it was great or not. We weren’t going to go out and do market research. We just wanted to build the best thing we could build. – Steve Jobs
That said, Apple Music will build tremendous momentum during its long, three-month free trial period (which, importantly, automatically segues to paying accounts*, don’t forget.) The Connect and/or Beats 1 features can fail miserably and Apple Music can still be a raging success.
The fact is that you cannot have a music service of any kind without a music industry. Apple Music is trying to save the music industry and also satisfy music lovers. It’s a tall, sometimes conflicting order, but we think Apple Music is priced right and offers members more than enough to accomplish both of its goals.
And, it’s not a “walled garden.” Apple Music will work on iOS, OS X, Windows, and even some version(s) of Android (this fall). The following Apple Music features do not require a membership and are accessible simply by being signed in with your free Apple ID:
• View artist feed on Connect
• Follow artists on Connect
• Listen to Beats 1 radio station
• Listen to Apple Music radio stations
Apple Music members get those four features above, plus:
• Play and save Connect content
• Like Connect content or radio songs
• Enjoy unlimited listening from the Apple Music library
• Apple Music content to your library
• Save for offline listening
• Get expert music recommendations
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Art V.” for the heads up.]
Apple Music’s huge advantage over Spotify – June 9, 2015
Apple Music is a major mess and it won’t beat Spotify or something – June 9, 2015
When Apple Music arrives, what happens to iTunes Match? – June 9, 2015
What Apple Music says about how Apple views musicians – June 8, 2015
Apple’s revolutionary Apple Music just might prove its skeptics wrong – June 8, 2015
Apple unveils revolutionary Apple Music service – June 8, 2015