an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Steve Jobs says it’s conceivable that online music services will sell 5 percent of the legally purchased music in the United States within the next 24 months. Right now, said Jobs, online services sell about 2 percent. (The article is available to Wall Street Journal subscribers only.) Other highlights of the interview include Jobs’ revelation that his company has just finished renewing deals with major music publishers and “prices aren’t going up on iTunes.” Jobs said Apple’s Mac business is “very healthy” and growing, with more than half of users buying Macs at Apple Stores new to the platform.
Jobs dashed hopes for a video iPod any time in the near future; he said that Apple doesn’t “see a market” for people to watch video on portable devices because of size, weight and price. He said that Apple will “keep driving the prices down” on iPods. The iPod, Jobs explained, was Apple’s alternative to a PDA, which at one time his company was under “enormous pressure” to produce.
Jobs said that Apple wants to “invent or control the core technology” in products they make, which explains why Apple has no interest in making the iPod or iTunes work with Microsoft’s Windows Media format. Apple estimates it owns about 70 percent of the portable music player market; if it loses significant ground, said Jobs, they may revisit their decision.
Jobs said the digital threats to and opportunities for Hollywood are different than the music industry, because most people have higher expectations of quality for video than they do for music. DVD burners, said Jobs, are more of a threat than the Internet.
Updated 6/15/04 8:55 am: Title and first paragraph updated to more accurately reflect Jobs’ comments.