Rolling Stone magazine is one of the latest periodicals to cozy up to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. An article dated Dec. 3 has Jobs
sharing his insights
about the music industry.
Regarding Apple’s decision to make iPods and the iTunes Music Store available to Windows users, Jobs said, “I’m sure we’re losing some Mac sales, but half our sales of iPods are to the Windows world already.”
Jobs notes that the music industry is populated by “smart people [who aren’t] technology people.” People who, according to Jobs, didn’t use computers or e-mail, and thus had no idea what Napster (in its original incarnation) even was.
Jobs admitted that Apple had a tough row to hoe as it sought to establish a commercial music download service. He said that some music companies disputed the efficacy of digital rights management; others wanted “a subscription business” akin to America Online. “Slowly but surely, as these things didn’t pan out, we started to gain some credibility with these folks,” he said.
The interview also addresses an issue that was raised by Apple’s “Rip, Mix, Burn” campaign — the reporter noted that “A lot of [music executives] regarded it as an invitation to steal music.”
Jobs explained that the person who said that was Disney chief Michael Eisner. “But he didn’t have any teenage kids living at home, and he didn’t have any teenage kids working at Disney whom he talked to, so he thought ‘rip’ meant ‘rip off.’ And when somebody actually clued him in to what it meant, he did apologize.”
Jobs also throws in his two cents’ worth on RIAA litigation against people suspected of using peer-to-peer services to download large amounts of commercial music; the future of intellectual property; the difficulty involved in getting artists signed to the iTunes Music Store, and more.