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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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.

    Article Link: Apple Managers Didn't Know How Spotify Worked, Engineers Used Pandora Over iTunes Radio
  2. macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2014
    Those middle management guys should be looked into and possibly fired.
  3. macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    yeah right...It seems anyone can claim anything these days when it comes to :apple:
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2010
    And that's how a couple dozen ignorant employees can cost you 3 billion dollars. :D
  5. macrumors 68040


    Dec 16, 2011
    Doesn't surprise me if it's true.

    Then again doesn't surprise me if it's false.

    I only use Pandora cause there isn't iTunes Radio on Android. When I get my iPhone again I will definitely go back to iTunes Radio, but I'll keep Pandora around for my comedy stations.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2005
    But it can't be true... Apple isn't capable of such willful ignorance! Rome will never fall! /s
  7. macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2010
    Seriously, that is just embarassing. I would pretty much fire everyone involved.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2012
    I hate to be that guy in this thread... but something like this wouldn't have happened under Steve! :(
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    as in stand up comedy? if so what are the stations?

    and damn..imagine what steve jobs would have done to those employees! :(
  10. macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2013
    Sounds like GM accept they didn't kill anyone.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2010
    Some managers and employees don't do their job. They want a free pay check too.

    It is imperative that the engineers and managers understand the whole industry from the top down, understand context, and placement of their own offering. If they don't, they should be fired.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2011
    Seen this before; MS dismissed Apple as a niche market product maker. The rest si history.
  13. mac1984user, Jun 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014

    macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Not surprising, but I also kind of see their point. If you're happy not to own your music and listen to music like you watch random TV programs, Spotify is great. But I don't like paying a subscription for music I'd rather not stream. So, for me, Spotify has always been a bit of an annoyance. Intrusive ads or monthly payment plans. At least the Netflix model makes more sense due to the infrequency with which we rewatch films as opposed to music. Ultimately, just do what you like, I suppose!
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2011
    The employees themselves need to take responsibility, not just blame the ol' manager. An "A team" employee would walk into the managers office, demand that they use the other service, tell him why even when he says get out, and push the issue. Of course managers are clueless, but in this case so are the employees. It sometimes take's a big set of b@lls to drive change at a large company and sometimes going against the grain. (I am a mechanical engineer and deal with this daily). The larger Apple gets, the more this will become an issue.
  15. macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2011
    New England
    I thought the managers/engineers were supposed to know how the competition works in order to make their product better?

    If Managers had seen nothing but the green Spotify Logo... sounds like ignorance to me.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2011
    I used Spotify before Apple bought Beats. I gave Beats the 14 day trial after the merger & I have to say I really like Beats. It gives great recommendations & the ability to download & listen offline was the biggest reason I liked Spotify, & that feature is available in Beats.

    I would suggest everyone give Beats a try. i think you will be pleasantly surprised.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    Spotify is really amazing. It works flawlessly, it is available on a wide range of platforms, it has an offline mode, etc.

    Another thing which makes Spotify so great is that not only has it great algorithms to learn what you like and recommend new music. Additionally, it has a really big and great community which means it doesn't only rely on algorithms. There's a *human* aspect.

    I really can't believe this story is true. If true, Apple, arguably one of the pioneers in the music industries with the iPod and iTunes, completely missed the change in music listening behavior by consumers.
  18. macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
  19. macrumors member


    Apr 8, 2006
    Thanks for the interview.

    Yup, guys, it's me, the 'one employee' quoted here in this piece. Steve Jobs parked in the handicap space and then backed over my dog on the way out and I've never forgiven him or Apple. And they're stupid about business too, btw.
  20. macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2014
    I love Apple just as much as the next fanboy (probs more?), but I will never leave Spotify.
  21. macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    "According to a report from Buzzfeed".

    You can stop right there. :rolleyes:
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 14, 2008
    The Republic of Texas
    I guess now we know where the MobileMe engineers went.
  23. macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    That just shows how some middle managers can be bad to a company. The young employees are continuously learning new things, check out the competition, and have many innovative ideas but some managers fail to do their job and act on them and present this issues/ideas to executives of the company. This isn't really just an Apple thing, it probably exists in all technological companies.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2010

    Wow. Imagine how much faster heads would've rolled over this incompetence if Steve Jobs was still at the helm? :eek:
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2013
    4 8 15 16 23 42 ✈ Country: Belgium

    So true. We miss you Steve!

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