It’s been a year and a few months since Apple launched Apple Music to the world, and while it wasn’t a perfect year, there were some key moments thus far. Now, BuzzFeed News sat down with Apple execs Jimmy Iovine, Zane Lowe, and Bozoma Saint John to talk about their experiences within the first year.
It starts off with Iovine talking about the goal for Apple Music. He says they wanted to make it easier for artists to release music and for users to have access to music. “That’s the only thing that we know how to do coming from where we’re coming from,” he said. “You use all the tools you have to do that.“
Iovine has used exclusive content to differentiate Apple Music from other streaming services. Since its launch, Apple Music has gained exclusive streaming rights to Drake, Britney Spears, Frank Ocean, and many others. Though, not everyone is on board with what they’re doing. Artists like Kanye West, or Spotify even has spoken out against the idea.
Regardless, Iovine says that Apple holds up its end of the deal when it comes to relationships, but is still working out other exclusive deals with labels like Sony Music Entertainment or Warner Music Group.
“We’re feeling our way around and seeing what works … Every time we do [an exclusive], we learn something new.” He added that Apple Music would move forward with its pursuit of exclusives from other partners, such as Sony Music Entertainment and the Warner Music Group, noting, “It’s Apple’s show. As long as Apple’s asking me to do what I’m doing, I’m gonna keep doing it.”
In the end, Iovine admits that nobody really knows where the music industry will be in a year from now. “A year from today could look extremely different from what it looks like right now,” he said.
Zane Lowe, lead of Beats 1 explained that Apple Music has become a safe place for artists to come and release their music. Lowe says it’s not just Beats 1, but is a combination of many other things in the service.
“I think Apple Music is the place that helps artists tell their stories. It’s where artists can come and feel comfortable,” Lowe said. “And that’s not just on Beats 1, it’s through the releasing of their records, it’s through our editorial, through content, all sorts of ways.”
Bozoma Saint John, head of global consumer marketing for Apple Music explains the thought process and reasoning behind changes for Apple Music. Saying that the team asks, “How are you actually interacting with your music? What are you going to it for? How can we better serve that up?”
With iOS 10, Apple Music underwent a major overhaul. Iovine explains that a lot of the changes were built upon — in some cases subtracted from — what they originally introduced. He teases that there are some things they’re working on nobody is going to expect.
“We were too ambitious in the beginning — we probably put too much into it,” said Iovine. “But we’re getting there now, one foot in front of the other, and the stuff we’re creating I don’t think anyone is gonna see coming.”
If you’re interested, the full piece can be found here.