Tim Cook: We’re not doing Apple Music for the money

By

Tim cook
Apple has a smart strategy when it comes to music.
Photo: Apple

In a short interview for Fast Company, Tim Cook raves about his love of music, and talks about Apple’s reasons for getting into the space with Apple Music.

“I couldn’t make it through a workout without music,” Cook said. “Music inspires, it motivates. It’s also the thing at night that helps quiet me. I think it’s better than any medicine.”

Cook also echoes a regular theme when Apple talks about its rivals in music distribution: the lack of focus on human curation that other services provide. “We worry about the humanity being drained out of music, about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind of world instead of the art and craft,” Cook said.

Music as a loss leader

While the interview is a brief one, perhaps the most interesting point he makes is the suggestion that Apple looks at music like a loss leader. “We’re not in it for the money,” he said.

Sure, it’s possible to naively write this off as Apple just being really in love with the idea of helping people find music. However, for my money it sounds like a shot at rivals such as Spotify, who continue to lose money hand-over-fist as they pursue streaming music.

Apple, on the other hand, can use Apple Music to get more people into the Apple ecosystem, and provide extra incentive for them to stay. With so much cash on hand, Apple can basically afford to play a war of attrition in this arena, and others simply aren’t going to be able to compete long-term since they’re required to, well, actually turn a profit.

In May this year, Apple announced that Apple Music has passed the 50 million active user mark. Spotify, by comparison, had around 83 million subscribers by the end of June.

Source: Fast Company