Apple Managers Didn't Know How Spotify Worked, Engineers Used Pandora Over iTunes Radio

Engineers working on iTunes Radio prefer to listen to Spotify and Pandora because they were better platforms, according to a new report from Buzzfeed. It claims that not only did those employees prefer Apple's competitors over its own radio service, but it says middle management was willfully ignorant about how Spotify worked, thinking it was just another streaming service.

It's "why they thought iTunes Radio would be a Spotify killer," said one employee. The piece alleges that Apple has been overly focused on driving downloads on iTunes and slow to adapt to a shift in user listening preferences towards subscription-based services.

itunes_radio_hero2

Past and current employees in the company with direct knowledge of iTunes and Apple's services Ping and iTunes Radio told BuzzFeed that Apple engineers involved with those products often preferred to use Spotify and Pandora. "Everyone's excuse was it's because we work on iTunes, running and closing the app after every code change," one source said. "But it's really because Spotify has all the free music with a real social platform." In their personal time, sources said, employees used Spotify and Pandora.

Apple employees confirmed that management actively ignored iTunes' streaming competitors, with some managers refusing to open or use Spotify. One source said that as recently "as last year," some members of management didn't even know that Spotify was an on-demand streaming service, assuming it was just a radio service.

The disconnect between employees, along with a belief that Spotify and Pandora weren't real threats to iTunes, may have been a significant contributing factor to Apple's slowness to embrace streaming music. A reluctance to cut into its iTunes sales was also likely a factor, as it was the platform that revolutionized the music industry back in 2003.

According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple's main goal with iTunes Radio was boosting both device sales and sales of iTunes music, which largely ignored the real problem -- the growing popularity of on-demand streaming music and the products being offered by competitors. iTunes Radio was viewed as a "baby step" into the streaming music industry when what Apple really needed was a leap.

Apple had a similar issue back in 2010 when it launched Ping. Designed as a social networking and music recommendation service, Ping was created to push users to purchase songs rather than as a true effort towards improving recommendations, which ultimately led to its failure in 2012. "The biggest reason why Ping failed was because Apple was not interested in making a network -- they were interested in making a purchase pusher," said one of Buzzfeed's sources.

With the purchase of Beats, it appears that Apple is finally ready to make a significant leap into the streaming music industry, though a cautious one. The company reportedly plans to keep Beats as a standalone brand rather than integrating it directly into iTunes, which gives it a safety net should the service ultimately fail.

Along with the streaming music service itself, Apple is also gaining fresh blood for its music endeavors. Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, both of whom are set to join Apple as employees, both have extensive experience in the music industry and an invaluable rapport with a younger generation of listeners.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
81 months ago
Those middle management guys should be looked into and possibly fired.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
And that's how a couple dozen ignorant employees can cost you 3 billion dollars. :D
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
"According to a report from Buzzfeed".

You can stop right there. :rolleyes:
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

I hate to be that guy in this thread... but something like this wouldn't have happened under Steve! :(


Ping happend under Steve.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
I guess now we know where the MobileMe engineers went.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago
Rumors based on statements from anonymous people are always true.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

iPhone Maker Foxconn Says China's 'Days as the World's Factory Are Done'

Wednesday August 12, 2020 7:55 am PDT by
China will no longer be the world's manufacturing epicenter going forward, according to Apple's largest supply chain partner Foxconn, which has been gradually expanding its operations in other countries amid the U.S.-China trade war. "No matter if it's India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each," said Foxconn chairman Young Liu, according to Bloombe...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

Apple May Release 4G-Only iPhone 12 in Early 2021

Tuesday August 11, 2020 5:28 am PDT by
In a research note shared by Business Insider, Wedbush Securities analysts said that Apple may release a cheaper iPhone 12 in early 2021 with no 5G connectivity. Wedbush initially believed Apple would launch a mix of 4G and 5G iPhone 12 models this fall. Following re-examination of Asian supply chains, analysts Daniel Ives, Strecker Backe, and Ahmad Khalil revised the predictions,...

iPad Pro Keyboard Comparison: Logitech's $160 Folio Touch vs. Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:11 pm PDT by
Logitech recently debuted the Folio Touch, a keyboard and trackpad case designed for the 11-inch iPad Pro that serves as an alternative to the Magic Keyboard. In our latest YouTube video, we compare the $160 Folio Touch to Apple's $300 Magic Keyboard to see which is better. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Logitech is selling the Folio Touch for $160, while Apple's...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of watchOS 7 to Public Beta Testers

Monday August 10, 2020 10:33 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public beta of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to public beta testers, one week after seeding the fourth beta to developers and a month and a half after the Worldwide Developers Conference. The update can be downloaded after installing the proper profile from Apple's Public Beta website. watchOS 7 should not be installed on a primary device as it is still an early...

Apple Watch Likely to Adopt MicroLED Display Technology in 3-4 Years

Monday August 10, 2020 2:55 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to feature an OLED screen like previous models, but a future model is likely to be the first Apple product to adopt MicroLED display technology, albeit not for another three to four years. That's the main takeaway reading between the lines of comments made by the chairman of Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, which is reportedly working on a...

Parallels Desktop 16 Brings macOS Big Sur Support, Multi-Touch Gestures, 20% Faster DirectX, and More

Tuesday August 11, 2020 2:17 am PDT by
Parallels Desktop 16 released today, bringing some notable new features and performance enhancements to the virtualization software, including full support for macOS Big Sur. When Apple introduced macOS Big Sur, it ended support for the third-party kernel extensions that previous versions of Parallels were built on. That forced the developers to re-engineer the virtualization software from the ...