Just hours before Apple Music goes live, several interviews have been posted with executives Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, and Trent Reznor on the service in general, and the unique nature of Beats 1 and Connect in specific. The key focus, as you might expect, is on the humanity—curated playlists, real DJs discovering real music, and a direct connection between artists and fans.
With Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:
"One of the things we wanted with Apple Music was depth, said Cue. "We wanted you to be immersed in it when you started using it. Jimmy, Trent, myself, and others would go in a room—we argued a lot, we fought a lot, and we're still doing it. We're doing it on a few things we can change on this version."
When I asked Cue how he would try to convince people that Apple Music was better than competing services, he said, "Ultimately, you can't convince them, it's just got to be better."
With Kory Grow of Rolling Stone:
[Trent Reznor] started thinking over the last year and a half or so, listening to [Zane Lowe's] show, that it's interesting to be able to hear a whole country tuned into something that was niche-y and edgy enough that it caught my attention next to something super mainstream. But it still kept my attention because Zane's personality and excitement jelled it into something that felt powerful and I realized I was listening to things that I wouldn't if I could just skip through it, or stuff I wouldn't listen to in the first place. The passion of Zane was infectious and I thought, "Man, I wonder if that would work on a global level." I wonder if it's possible if we pumped out the same music around the world, taking this through the lens of Apple. What would that be like? Could we do that in an interesting fashion and could the whole world tune into something?
With Christina Warren of Mashable:
Jimmy Iovine recalls seeing various streaming offerings during his time at Interscope. These weren't services, in Iovine's viewpoint, but "utilities." Conversely, Iovine says that Apple Music "is not a utility, we're a service. And we want to serve the artist and the consumer."
From his perspective as a label executive, Iovine says the key to making the economics work for musicians and labels is for subscriptions to scale. But the only way for that to happen, he says "is if the services are compelling enough to be a service, not a utility." Without a compelling service, Iovine says, streaming will never scale out to make the economics work.
Apple music arrives later today with iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2.