The minds behind Apple Music talk redesign, music industry and more in new interview

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.

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Discussion forums

Dan Thorp-Lancaster
  • That recent article about being able to delete stock Apple stuff from iOS 10 listed Music as one of the removable apps. I sure hope it's true.
  • Yes it is. I am running iOS 10 developer beta. So now you can live happily ever after.
  • Apple's music system is a complete freakin' mess!
  • still looks cluttered. "recently added" is taking up half the screen and recently added music has never been something important to me. I know what i added and i just go to it. It wasn't broke in ios 7. They shouldn't have tried to fix it. I wish there was that interface in an app for the power users of local content. Streaming only just isn't an option. My lte just isn't consistent enough. Plus i'm near the ocean and mountains and i hit lots of dead spots. I've switched several of my podcasts in downcast to stream only and i very often it freezes as i lose connection to the cell network. And i'm not normally stationary on wifi. But when i leave my house if i have time i download the longer pods set to stream. And the main ones i always listen to i have set to automatic download.
  • What a mess. I've almost completely wiped my iTunes library because it has simply ceased the ability to be organized. Even after carefully checking and renaming each "Get Info" slot and option, I still get multiple listings of the same artist, tracks out of order, etc. I now anticipate these conferences wondering what in the coming months I'll have to turn off in settings, opt out of, downgrade, and carefully avoid, so my content is safe, and messy features aren't at work garbling my Mac, iPhone, iPod, and iPad experience. In iOS 10, there are some deviations from the unified look, and I've noticed it big time in Music and News. While I surprisingly like the separate feel, it's just not very well done. Not SMART. No longer JUST WORKS. It's a clunky disaster. I wonder what kind of user is at home in the environment they've created on iTunes and Music/Apple Music. If I had to take a guess, it seems to be passive music listeners, who want to "put something on" in one click. One of my major gripes is having to turn on iTunes Match for iCloud to UN-INTELLIGENTLY start eating and regurgitating my music library so that I am able to save offline the Apple Music content that I pay for monthly. LAUGH OUT LOUD. Here's an excerpt from an Apple Insider article... "Be warned, though, that trying to turn on iCloud Music Library can potentially delete locally-created playlists and their associated files — from both iOS devices and a desktop iTunes library. Proceed with extreme caution and make sure a backup is in place." Yup, it is no place for music lovers.
  • Looks like a Microsoft app with the large font. Reminds me of zune
  • Big bold title with listed and non-icon menu, reminds me of windowsphone7 Sent from the iMore App
  • Beats 1 is fu*king a*s. Give us some god*amn metal, rock n roll, punk rock shows! I hate that everything is geared towards hip hop/rap/pop. I get that not everyone is a metalhead but christ not everyone likes crappy drake. FFS.
  • Most important is to make Apple Music a separate app where I should be able to simply update Apple Music app instead of updating the whole freakin OS. This has not been addressed yet. Sent from the iMore App