Following the big announcement at WWDC 2016 that Apple Music is due for a redesign, the heads behind the service sat down in an new interview to discuss the platform as a whole. Speaking with Billboard, Apple's Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor and Robert Kondrk spoke at length about Apple Music, Apple's relationship with the music industry, and more.
One of the biggest topics tackled was the potential for a streaming-only future. Cue addressed this concern, noting that music downloads aren't going away any time soon, and sales have actually been boosted by the availability of streaming thus far.
There's no end date, and as a matter of fact, they should all be surprised and thankful to the results that they're seeing because our music iTunes business is doing very well. Downloads weren't growing, and certainly are not going to grow again, but it's not declining anywhere near as fast as any of them predicted or thought it would. There are a lot of people who download music and are happy with it and they're not moving towards subscriptions. We talked about subscriptions bringing a lot of new customers in, people who have never bought music. And if you look at Apple's music revenue on a quarterly basis, because of subscriptions and because of sales, it's now higher; it's actually growing, which is great for the labels.
Cue and Iovine also touched on Beats 1 when prompted about its absence in the keynote. The redesign is meant to make interacting with Beats 1 much bette, Cue says, while Iovine notes that Beats 1 will also be venturing into video content. Robert Kondrk also took a moment to explain how the Beats 1 intersects with Apple's music ecosystem as a whole:
All of the redesign that we did generates so much content, both video and audio, and we made sure that it could be found, both in the radio tab and also when there's a promotion, like one that Sting is doing, for example. Those things will be connected in the new interface... The teams have learned how to work together, so Beats 1 is almost the tip of the arrow. Zane will introduce something, and then it goes into Apple Music, and it goes into iTunes and all the promotion we do across our whole music ecosystem, and you end up with a result like we had with Drake. It's all stitched together now.
For much more, be sure to check out the full interview from Billboard. And for more from WWDC 2016, you can follow all of our coverage through the links below.