“Twelve months of Apple Music have brought the service 15 million paid subscribers and, for its architects, a sense of optimistic, if slightly cautious, calm,” Shirley Halperin reports for Billboard. “Or so it looked at the Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference on Monday afternoon, where Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, ‎vice president of Content and Media Apps Robert Kondrk, Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor and the still title-less Jimmy Iovine gathered for a talk with Billboard.”

Some snippets:

YouTube has been increasingly vilified by the labels. How do you view its current standing?

Reznor: Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly. We’re trying to build a platform that provides an alternative — where you can get paid and an artist can control where their [content] goes.

Thirteen years of working with the music industry seems to have positioned Apple as a sort of bridge between north and south California — the tech- and product-based Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, the hub of content creation. How do you view the divide, and Apple’s role?

Cue: One of the great things about Steve [Jobs] was that, because of his [stake in] Pixar, he had a very different understanding of entertainment and of L.A. and Hollywood… It’s one of the reasons we’ve been successful from the early days. How I met Jimmy, more than a decade ago now, was about that. I’ve always felt that technology companies have disrespected the content creation process and the content creation people disrespect technology. Both think, “How hard [could it be]?” The truth is, and I understand this really well, is that both of them are artists when it comes down to it. A programmer starts with a blank screen, no different than starting a song with a blank sheet of paper.

Much more in the full interview here.

MacDailyNews Take: The music labels should sack up and shorten up this long slog a bit by saying: “No free tiers.”

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