Apple's 'arrogance' wrought mediocre iTunes Radio and led to Beats buy, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2014
Amid the furor of Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats, pundits asked why the Cupertino company would sink so much capital into what amounts to a brand name. A report on Thursday now claims a shortsighted and credulous iTunes management team put out an inferior product in iTunes Radio, which in turn forced the acquisition.

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Citing multiple sources, Buzzfeed claims the Apple's iTunes managers ignored competing streaming music offerings like Pandora to the point where some didn't know that popular app Spotify was a subscription service. The resulting product, iTunes Radio, is feature deficient compared to rival streamers, in both content curation and purpose, these people said.

"The management in particular were pretty much tone-deaf in what Spotify was and that's why they're panicking now," one person said. "They didn't understand how Spotify worked, which is why they thought iTunes Radio would be a Spotify killer."

According to the source, other managers saw Pandora as a "dead company" because of its troubles in generating revenue. Ironically, engineers in the group reportedly preferred the competition's offerings to iTunes Radio, especially Spotify which rolls in serious social network integration.

"Pandora is an awesome radio that blows iTunes Radio out of the water. Seriously, iTunes Radio sucks and it sucks because of Apple's arrogance," said a former Apple employee. "I was floored by the decision-making skills by management over and over again."

With the Beats deal, Apple is thought to have paid some $2.5 billion for Beats Electronics and only $500 million for the firm's streaming business. When Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the deal, however, he reiterated the importance of Beats Music and said the subscription service would be kept intact as a go-along with iTunes Radio.

Some industry analysts saw iTunes Radio as a new way to push iTunes purchases, not an experiment in high quality content curation that many feel is the next step for streaming services. Beats Music touts human music curation as one of its strong suits.

Echoing an "Apple is losing its cool factor" mindset, the mid-level worker also commented on the acqui-hires of music industry guru Jimmy Iovine and rap superstar Dr. Dre, who are both taking positions at Apple in the near future. The new blood is a play for a younger generation of users, which the source said has become an increasingly pressing issue for the company.

It remains to be seen what part Beats and its cofounders will play in Apple's massive iTunes music empire and beyond. After undertaking Apple's biggest-ever acquisition, however, Cook and company likely have something special planned for the new subsidiary.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 144
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member
    Middle managers tend to do what they think management wants. Once a company has a hit product they tend to develop tunnel vision and complacency. Devoting most of their time and resources to that one money making thing even as new ideas develop. It happens to every company. Xerox, Microsoft, AOL, Smith Corona..
  • Reply 2 of 144
    This story is wrought with error. When WSJ broke down the deal, it was just the opposite price 500 million for Beats Music and 2.5 billion for Beats Electronics. How hard is it to do some fact checking?
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/apple-paying-just-under-500-million-for-beats-music-streaming-service-1401403287
  • Reply 3 of 144
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Buzzfeed... BUZZFEED? omg.. you guys will spew anything.. I highly doubt that 'everyone' in the mid-managment was doing what they said.. They make so many absolute assertions that I cannot even imagine anyone taking what they say seriously..

    Then.. again.. we are talking about blogs here.. their job is to just repeat things, regardless.. the mindless mime ..
  • Reply 4 of 144
  • Reply 5 of 144
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,808member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    "The management in particular were pretty much tone-deaf in what Spotify was and that's why they're panicking now," one person said. "They didn't understand how Spotify worked, which is why they thought iTunes Radio would be a Spotify killer."

     

     

    But then there's this:

    iTunes Radio Surpasses Spotify to Take Third Place Among U.S. Music Streaming Services

  • Reply 6 of 144
    ddawson100ddawson100 Posts: 481member

    Serving up some hearsay by paraphrasing "former Apple employees"and "the mid-level worker" and "according to the source, other managers". These are things that "one person said".  

     

    Nothing to see here folks. Just some click-bait. Move right along. 

  • Reply 7 of 144
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm surprised by that because when I use it I get a lot of repetition. But to be honest I don't use it a lot because Spotify has better sound quality. Really the only time I use it now is to listen to a new album that isn't available anywhere else.
  • Reply 8 of 144
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,992member
    "With the Beats deal, Apple is thought to have paid some $2.5 billion for Beats Music and only $500 million for the firm's headphone business."

    Wait a minute. I've read the cost distribution is the other way around. I've read only $500 million for Beats Music streaming and the rest for Beats Electronics. Who's correct? $500M is not that much for a new streaming music system.
  • Reply 9 of 144
    bobborriesbobborries Posts: 151member

    Apple doesn't need to listen to industry analysts, who reported kids think Apple lost the cool factor, which caused Apple to buy the needless Beats purchase. Remember when these same analysts said that Apple needs to make a cheap iPhone!

  • Reply 10 of 144
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ddawson100 wrote: »
    Serving up some hearsay by paraphrasing "former Apple employees"and "the mid-level worker" and "according to the source, other managers". These are things that "one person said".  

    Nothing to see here folks. Just some click-bait. Move right along. 

    http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/5944778/apple-mulls-launching-spotify-rival-android-app-as

    http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/6042224/underwhelming-start-to-itunes-radio-lights-fire-under
  • Reply 11 of 144
    nicwalmsleynicwalmsley Posts: 117member
    iTunes Radio streams music, the songs are selected by Apple's algorithms.

    Spotify streams music, the songs are selected by me.

    Which one do you think I prefer?
  • Reply 12 of 144
    hoobitronhoobitron Posts: 28member
    As much as I wanted iTunes Radio to be great, I still prefer Pandora. The music genome system it uses gives me exactly the kind of mix I'm looking for. Whatever algorithm iTunes uses just doesn't give me the mix I'm looking for. I really really wish they had purchased Pandora instead (don't know if that was ever an option). That would have ended all this right then and there. The music genome project is the key purchase there. It's genius, and Apple is supposed to be all about genius.
  • Reply 13 of 144
    "They didn't understand how Spotify worked, which is why they thought iTunes Radio would be a Spotify killer."

    :) I'm just going to take this one quote out of context and elaborate a little.

    I'm also going to drop two facts, it's up to you to figure out why - wait for it, here it comes..

    "Spotify - service reached 20 million users with 5 million paid subscribers by December 2012."

    "iTunes Radio launched September 18th, 2013."

    I work for Apple, directly, indirectly, high level employee, retail.. Doesn't matter. I've worked for Apple since 2008, have held four different positions and I'm privy to a lot interesting information because of it. I can say with 100% certainty that this claim is false. I can say with 100% certainty that Spotify was very well understood and was taken into heavy consideration when iTunes Radio was under development. That's where I stop elaborating. It's easier to claim incompetence on a companies "failures" when you don't understand why or how, and you only get to see 10% of the picture (believe me, you're missing the biggest pieces).

    I leave you with this.. Believe what you want and who you want, but according to this article "some guy" who has previously "worked for Apple" had all this to say. I'm some guy. I work for Apple (or so I claim). Why not believe me?
  • Reply 14 of 144
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,808member
    ddawson100 wrote: »
    Serving up some hearsay by paraphrasing "former Apple employees"and "the mid-level worker" and "according to the source, other managers". These are things that "one person said".  

    Nothing to see here folks. Just some click-bait. Move right along. 

    I wonder if these are the same sources at Apple who told [@]drblank[/@] that Katie Cotton probably left because of what Dre's music "stood for."
  • Reply 15 of 144
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    iTunes Radio streams music, the songs are selected by Apple's algorithms.

    Spotify streams music, the songs are selected by me.

    Which one do you think I prefer?

    I don't know, do you have such shitty taste in music that even you hate your own selections? :D
  • Reply 16 of 144
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    iTunes Radio streams music, the songs are selected by Apple's algorithms.

    Spotify streams music, the songs are selected by me.

    Which one do you think I prefer?

    This exactly it. I don't know how people can compare them. iTunes Radio and Pandora choose music to play at me and stop me from skipping after awhile if I dislike their choices.

    Spotify and Rdio will play almost any song I want, any time, as many times as I want. It's a completely different thing!
  • Reply 17 of 144
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jakeb wrote: »
    I don't know how people can compare them.

    People compare them because somewhere along the way certain people decided to use the term streaming music without qualifying how one type is basically an advanced streaming music radio service and the other is streaming music rental service. I say the former is advanced because it does allow some interaction with your selections whereas streaming radio services of yore we purely one-way streams.
  • Reply 18 of 144
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member

    Citing multiple anonymous sources. What a joke!

     

    A hit piece and probably bogus. Moving right along...

  • Reply 19 of 144
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    enzos wrote: »
    Citing multiple anonymous sources. What a joke!

    A hit piece and probably bogus. Moving right along...

    "Citing multiple anonymous sources, all the ladies claim SolipsismX is great in bed."


    It must be true¡
  • Reply 20 of 144
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,922member
    Quote from disgruntled former employee? Check.
    Fitting a story to a predetermined headline? Check.
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