Apple: Microsoft wrong on music
Apple CEO Steve Jobs simply doesn’t believe subscription-based music services are what consumers want, he told press and analysts today.
“Subscription services, they are just not succeeding,” he said. “Consumers want to own their own music,” he said.
Jobs compared it to video: while consumers tend to watch video only a few times, they will listen to their favourite songs thousands of times.
“Purchasing and owning music is a very ingrained thing,” he said, “and I think that is why subscription services have failed,” he added.
Microsoft is preparing its new Janus technology, this promises a system in which content acquired using subscription services can be licensed and carried on portable devices, with that content ceasing to be accessible if a subscription ends. Janus also integrates digital-rights management technologies.
Jobs was not optimistic for the fortunes of MIcrosoft’s initiative, saying: “Content providers do not like this idea.”
He explained: “Here’s the deal. Microsoft does not own the content, and the content owners do not think it’s such a good idea. they do not want to license their content through a subscription model where it can be carried on portable players for maybe ten dollars a month. We speak to these people, and that’s what they tell us.”
To many, the essence of all Apple’s successful music initiatives has been simplicity and focus. Jobs explained why.
“To paraphrase Bill Clinton, when he ran the US he said ‘It’s the economy, stupid’; well, at Apple we say, ‘It’s the music, stupid'”.
“We have to stay focused on the fact that people buy these devices because they love music.”
No foreground attraction
Much speculation exists that Apple will add a colour screen or video capabilities to its music player, but Jobs explained the different needs for these segments.
“Music is a background activity, you can drive a car listening to music – but you can’t drive a car and watch a video. That’s a foreground activity. A lot of people are focusing on those foreground activities.
Apple’s success in music is “about the music”, Jobs said. “And that’s what we think is revolutionary,” he affirmed.