For Apple, the key to making a compelling Spotify competitor is a human touch.
Apple Music and Beats boss Jimmy Iovine recently talked to the press about how the service is doing just over a month after it launched. He had a lot to say about Apple’s approach to music, but his main message was that Apple Music has already won the battle for the best curation.
“Algorithms don’t understand the subtlety and the mixing of genres,” Iovine told the Evening Standard, an obvious dig at competitors like Spotify and Pandora. “So we hired the best people we know. Hired hundreds of them.”
Iovine was referring to the stable of music experts Apple hired through its acquisition of Beats, the headphone and streaming music company Iovine led with Dr. Dre.
“Curation is a big thing to us, and no one is going to be able to catch us or do it better,” he told Wired.
He’s certainly convinced that Apple is leagues ahead of everyone else with how it curates music for users, but the iPhone maker has some real competition.
Spotify has been doing great things around discovery with features like its Discover Weekly playlist.
And Spotify, along with the Internet radio service Pandora, also employ people to help curate music.
At the end of the day, Iovine sees algorithms, or computer generated playlists, as inferior to music curation by humans.
“Algorithms are great but they’re very limited in what they can do as far as playing songs and playing a mood,” he told Wired. “And a lot of these companies they just go and hire somebody who used to work in the record business 25 years ago. Well, great. You have one person. We have hundreds… We have one of the great tech companies of all time building what we need.”
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