Jimmy Iovine on Apple Music: ‘The stuff we’re creating I don’t think anyone is gonna see coming’

“For music streaming services, which rely on a delicate web of relationships with the artists, publishers, and record labels that supply them, keeping customers satisfied is only half of the equation,” Reggie Ugwu reports for BuzzFeed News. “Viewed from up close, it’s the benefits Apple Music has promised its industry partners — still reeling from decades of digital disruption — that have arguably defined the service’s short life more than anything else.”

“The clash over exclusives, which came to a head just weeks before Apple Music underwent a much-anticipated relaunch designed to make it more appealing to users, served as a reminder that the music service faces a war on two fronts: It’s vying to lure subscribers from a field of strong competitors on the one hand, while defending its aggressive playbook to skittish content owners on the other,” Ugwu reports. “‘We put a lot into this, we’ve had some real successes, and we always hold up our end of the relationship,’ Iovine said, insisting that he has no intention of encroaching on record labels’ territory. ‘We’re feeling our way around and seeing what works … Every time we do [an exclusive], we learn something new.’ He added that Apple Music would move forward with its pursuit of exclusives from other partners, such as Sony Music Entertainment and the Warner Music Group, noting, ‘It’s Apple’s show. As long as Apple’s asking me to do what I’m doing, I’m gonna keep doing it.'”

“The redesign answers criticism that the first iteration was overly complicated, introducing a cleaner interface with larger images and text care of Apple design guru Jonny Ive,” Ugwu reports. “‘We were too ambitious in the beginning — we probably put too much into it,’ said Iovine. ‘But we’re getting there now, one foot in front of the other, and the stuff we’re creating I don’t think anyone is gonna see coming.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve tried them all. The world’s best music streaming service is already Apple Music, by far.

iTunes may be bad, but years and years of it are what’s making Apple Music so good – September 27, 2016
Apple Music in iTunes just got more enjoyable and easier to use – September 15, 2016
Apple offers discounted annual Apple Music subscription via $99 gift card – September 6, 2016
Apple Music is so good that I’m totally trapped – August 25, 2016


  1. I prefer slacker. It’s been around awhile has a nice selection of what I like. And it has the download feature so I can save my fav stations to my phone for listening when I’m not on internet.

    It gets what I like. Pandora never got me and Apple Music is mostly hit top 40 crap and not good music.
    Apple Music so far I have no desire for tried it didn’t like it.

            1. And slacker has better play. When I pick tracks I like it most of the time picks what I like. Apple Music seems to think I like things i say I dont

              I don’t see how to make my own radio station like on slacker either. All the playlists I see are pre made.

  2. It amazes me that people talk about Pandora or Spotify a lot of people hardly mentioned slacker and yet slacker has a wider variety of stuff they actually have real DJs not all preprogrammed content and they have the download feature and to me it’s just a much better service all the way around.
    and with the variety of music that they have I looked on others and have found that they don’t have some of the songs that I want and slacker is the only one that has it

    1. Are you an ad? I have a feeling you’re one of those sentient ads from South Park, especially since you didn’t respond to the criticism above as started a new thread. 13 million songs is not the same as nearly 40 million… there are not exclusives to slacker that aren’t on Apple Music, there are, however, many in the opposite direction.

  3. No interest in Apple Music.

    All of Apple’s promotion actually turns me away from it. The exclusive offerings and the extra publicity to certain performers…manufactured importance.

    That said, iTunes has been amazingly great over the years. All the music I want to buy – even obscure songs and albums from when I was a kid – is on iTunes.

    I’ll keep buying instead of renting.

    1. I’m sure you have your reasons for buying instead of renting. I thought exactly the same until about a year ago, when I decided to sign up for the Apple Music trial.

      I have done my math and concluded that for me, as well as for vast majority of people whose music collection is large, Apple Music is cheaper, better and more practical solution.

      I have a collection of 300 CDs. I used to buy 10 – 15 CDs per year, for decades. I had spent thousands of dollars over those years, and what I now have is around 300 CDs (plus around 100 vinyl LPs, which are in a garage in my old country).

      After discovering Apple Music, I realised I was overpaying for my music. By spending $10 per month (actually, $15 for my family), I have immediate access to some 4 million albums from around the world. Virtually all of my 300 CDs can be found on Apple Music and I can stream any one of them (plus millions of others) at any time, anywhere. I can always download anything I want, if I know I won’t have internet.

      For a jazz or classical fan, Apple Music is a priceless treasure trove. I can check out 50 different performances of Beethoven’s 7th symphony, or 20 different versions of Duke Ellington’s “Don’t get around much anymore”. Nobody in their sane mind would ever buy 10 different recordings of a symphony by Beethoven (never mind 50).

      And for teenagers, subscription model makes perfect sense. Teen tastes have a rather limited shelf life, and many people remember their early adulthood by the embarrassing music choices of their teen years they had to hide and eventually get rid of. Rental allows them to listen to whatever they like while they like it, and simply move on to something else when they grow out of it, without feeling foolish for throwing it away (or hiding it in the attic).

      1. Good points.

        Young people growing up today will have two things in common when they look back decades from now:

        1) They have never known peace. They have never known a time we were NOT at war with this place or that place. Comes with having a permanent wartime economy.

        2) They don’t know what it’s like to buy music. Why bother? A subscription for a vast library of music is irresistible.

        But when I add Amazon Prime to Netflix to monthly Internet to cell phone payments…Apple Music seems more expensive than it really is. Tired of subscriptions.

  4. ““The redesign answers criticism…”

    Nonsense. The redesign is GOD AWFUL.

    Steve would have canned the joker who released both versions of Apple Music. It is an abysmal experience, truly abysmal.

      1. I dont use Pandora or Spotify so that reference means nothing to me. I dont care about them. I am a subscriber since day 1 to Apple Music and it is by far THE most miserable Apple experience I have had since I joined this cult back in 1986.

        There simply is NO reason why Apple Music has to suck as much as it does today. No reason at all.

        1. What exactly would you change to make it better I assume you are talking about the interface…-If you don’t like Just search and find – no different than any other service. Music streams just fine….

        2. Birdseed, you must be the pickiest person in the world. Apple Music, especially the newest incarnation, is quite easily navigated. Nothing is perfect, but overall it’s quite a simple and easy experience.

  5. Nobody sees it coming, OK, whatever. Everyone will be happy to see Apple Music go away.

    Please split AM into a separate app and fix iTunes to be a manager for media owners!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I just don’t know what you are talking about. I have absolutely no problem with the interface and absolutely love Apple Music. It’s probably because I don’t use a desktop or notebook Mac to listen to music, only iOS devices.

    2. It’s a new social platform called Ping… err, I mean, Pong. You can pong your friends and you can pong artists and you can pong while using your bong while listening to Australian band Gong. There’s no way this social platform could go… (wait for it) … wrong.

  6. I would prefer Apple rental music to be consigned to an app seperate from iTunes so that those who choose to rent their Hip-Hop (aka the Samsung crowd) have their own little corner of the universe and those of us who wish to buy our music never have to see it.

    1. That’s condescending and presumptuous, as well as largely wrong.

      Practically everyone I know who uses and loves Apple Music is a classical music fan. For us, this is a godsend. As I wrote above, we can now compare different performances of same works, explore less popular works and we don’t have to spend a fortune in order to accumulate this large library. Not to mention wait 20 years, buying CDs (or downloads) one by one, until the library grows that large.

      I’m sure there will always be older people for whom subscribing to Apple Music, after completing their music collection of 500 CDs (and/or downloads) doesn’t seem to make financial sense, but if you fall into the category of people who spend regularly on music, then Apple Music gives you access to all of it right now, rather than over the long period of time. It is like buying a house right away, with a mortgage loan, or buying it brick by brick and slowly building it over the next 30 years.

      1. You should have been an economist, Predrag. Your rational arguments for utility maximisation are straight out of Sowell. I would also conjecture that you lectured your children on budgeting, and always have a mild rejoinder at the ready when a dinner guest ignorant of TCO boasts of saving money with his technology choices. Such a high viewpoint is hard-won, I know, as you have already admitted. All of us start out as victims of our own concealed biases. Unfortunately, most of us end the same way.

        1. Not really; it is just a fairly simple and straightforward argument for the concept of Apple Music. Most of those (and I was in that group until recently) against renting (vs. buying) their music use the financial argument (you pay and pay and pay, instead of paying once and then you have it forever). There are many scenarios in which that argument is flawed.

          On the other part of your message (arguing TCO), I will admit that there were occasions when I deployed that argument in support of my platform choice(s) over “the other one”, but I only did that when the other side exhibited similar condescending arrogance as we saw above.

          1. Arguments, plural. I was thinking of your collective reviews and commentaries, not just this one. More than once you recorded your change of mind and detailed why. That’s far more persuasive than a one-off product review.

            1. It has been at least ten years since I had discovered MDN and probably as long since I started commenting on articles. Among those who comment, there were always quite a few fairly regular contributors, and it can often become difficult to keep track of who is who, in order to create a picture behind sometimes abstract user names. Yours (under current, as well as previous name(s)) had easily stood out.

              I must say I’m flattered that anyone would find my contributions meaningful enough to remember. When the average quality of discussion stays rather low, one often feels little need to put effort into carefully wording arguments…

            2. You’ve raised a smile from an admirer. By the way, what do you think of Mahler’s “tenth?” I never got an answer to my original query, but maybe it all got lost in the ether…

            3. It clearly got lost somehow, I’m sorry about that.

              Mahler’s tenth… In a way, like Mozart’s Requiem, what we today take as Mahler’s tenth is of slightly less than authentic provenance. Unlike Mozart, where we have the one definitive Süssmeyr version that is generally accepted as the reasonable realisation of Mozart’s sketches and drafts, with Mahler, we have a work for which provenance isn’t always as clear. Several various realisations exist, and while one is more popular than others, there isn’t nearly as much of a consensus as there is with Süssmayr/Mozart.

              Having said that, the work is powerful and profound. You can hear the imminence of his demise, the anguish over his wife’s transgression. I don’t really know this work as well as his earlier, sunnier symphonies. I really should get to know it a bit better (after all, I have no excuse now, having Apple Music afford me access to at least a dozen various recordings of several different versions of the work). At the moment, I’m listening to Sir Simon Rattle with the Berliner (from 2000). A very authentic and grand rendition.

              One thing is clear to me: this work would have influenced some amazing things that came right after (Schönberg, Berg, Stravinsky), likely more so than Strauss at the time, had it been properly available for public performances. It wasn’t until the 60s that audiences got to hear it with some regularity.

            4. “The Unfinished…” — that’s the sorry lot of composers, no less than oil painters or cabinet makers. Divine inspiration is cruelly cancelled only by death. There will forever be partial manuscripts, sketches, and proofs which margins cannot contain. Survivors simply cannot resist completing these fragments, for better or worse.

              It’s the signal fact of mortality that drives all of it — art, science, architecture, literature. “This work would have influenced some amazing things” had even the unfinished part been timely communicated — something much more likely in today’s diverse media, but still a big, floating question mark.

              The question before the house is whether Steve Jobs’s unfinished symphony is being properly completed. Judging from the commentariat, I’m afraid that the jury will be out for a good while.

            5. The concept of retirement, wherein one reaches certain age and then leaves long years of service to a company, taking up fishing, or golf, simply does not apply to creative artists. While I have met a more than fair share of artists who did exactly that (after working as a 2nd oboe in the National Opera orchestra for 35 years, simply retiring, drawing government’s pension and never picking up that oboe again), not a single creative one has been able to swap creating music (whether by writing it or playing it) for fishing, golfing, dominoes or chess. And for the composers, this is even more true. A wonderful example would be the late Eliott Carter, who celebrated his 100th birthday at Carnegie Hall some 8 years by writing a Clarinet concerto. Until his untimely death at the age of 104, he wrote at least 20 more works (averaging five per year) following that 100th birthday. I was fortunate enough to attend that birthday concert.

  7. What Apple needs to do is design a proprietary social media feature within the iTunes app, with an emphasis on sharing music and “connecting” with your artists!

    They should call it something like Pong. Apple Pong.

  8. I’ve been using Apple Music since it went live and really enjoy making playlists on it because it’s so much easier than trying to pick tracks off of iTunes.

    Even though it’s great, there is still room for improvement:

    1. Users should have the option to create public pages. I would like to discover some talented playlist creators by genre and would like to be notified whenever they post.

    2. Even though there are millions of songs on the service there are still some key albums missing:

    A. The Feelies – “It’s Only Life” – This is one of my top ten albums of all time. BTW – just saw Brian Wilson perform the number two album of all time, Pet Sounds. They sounded amazing.

    B. The Farmers (not the hard rock farmers) – “Rock Angel” – great tippidity tappidity alt rock songs from the early 1990’s

    C. A House – “On Our Big Fat Merry-Go-Round” – classic 1980’s “underground” party music

    There are probably more, but these are just off the top-of-my-head.

    And finally, in appreciation of Elon’s dream, here is a song called “Mars” by The Farmers. I want to listen to this song in a spaceship:

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