Steve Jobs - The "i" in Music

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, the world lost one of its leading innovators, visionaries and

Music 
66 Hypes 0 Comments

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, the world lost one of its leading innovators, visionaries and entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and former CEO, died of pancreatic cancer which he was battling since 2004. As his health condition deteriorated in August, Jobs resigned from his office as the company’s CEO.

Apple is far more than just another technology giant based in California’s Silicon Valley. With the creative foresight of Steve Jobs, it embodies the creativity and ability to make changes instead of following proven but old-fashioned recipes and norms. It offers solutions to multiple issues that enhanced the digital experience to millions of users around the globe. Music in particular, has experienced an immense but also necessary change thanks to Jobs and Apple.

How did Jobs exactly change the music game? He showed ways of distribution and revenue generation in a new era to a troubling and somewhat lost industry. Back in October 2001, Apple launched the iPod and iTunes, the first easy-to-use software for managing your digital music collection. The digital environment was a tough one since paying for music seemed to be an antiquated idea. Numerous illegal file sharing software embodied a serious threat to the record labels’ revenue as the user was enabled to obtain songs and entire albums for free. By incorporating iTunes to their newest gadget, Apple fundamentally changed how the user relates to music. Apple set the price at .99¢ a song and simplified the acquisition of music which started to seduce people back in the habit to pay for their audio pleasure. Although iTunes may have killed the album, recording artists (and labels respectively) are now able to make a relatively handsome fortune by selling music one song at a time – and sharing revenue with Apple obviously. Although there have been some setbacks, such as the rather low response to Apple’s social music network Ping, subsequent gadgets like iPod and iPhone followed and even further aided the condition of the music industry in the digital era. When the iTunes store opened, the music industry’s revenue from digital sales was negligible, but by last year it had grown to $4.6 billion around the world, representing 29 percent of all revenue from recorded music.

As one of the most influential persons in the music industry during the past 25 years, Steve Jobs disposed a great deal of passion and envisioned ways of how it could and should be enjoyed. As his former employees concur, his personal involvement in all music-related subjects was a personal matter – a matter of love even. The development of the iPod had been ordered by Jobs himself, who disliked existing digital music players and their difficult interfaces. Due to his stamina and perseverance, as shown during the successful and less profitable years of Apple, Jobs was able to open the door to a new era called digital music – an undertaking which is still encountering problems in the field of legal matters but has proved to be a necessity for this troubled industry. The complex ambiguity of the relationship between recording artists and the digital music era have already been indicated in his open letter “Thoughts on Music,” where he outlined the difficult nature of music rights and proposed a continuing stream of music-related innovative products and a wide variety of choices. While being worshiped and feared in the music industry, he broke through its institutional resistance and got the record companies and music publishers to license their songs to iTunes. His universal understanding for this subject matter also led him to ending The Beatles’ longstanding digital embargo as well as convincing Dr. Dre. to make his catalog available digitally. These are just two of numerous examples that show the extent of Jobs’s passion that subsequently changed, revolutionized and improved the face of the music industry.

Obviously, problems for the music business remain. Sales numbers are not as high as they used to be during the golden ’90s. However, digital music is now perhaps the biggest priority in the music industry thanks to Jobs. It is no secret that in the long run, digital music will pave the way for future opportunities that shall lead the music business to more profitable times.

In order to succeed, one needs to remember one of Steve Jobs’s most popular quotes: “Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” This blatant question hints at the necessity to think different – think against the grain. The music industry needs to incorporate this mantra. It will also require further individuals like Steve Jobs that have faith in their intuition instead of conforming themselves to ancient/pre-digital norms that have unintentionally imposed obstacles rather than solutions. Rest in peace, Steve.

If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Steve Jobs' 1973 Handwritten Job Application Will Test the Value of NFTs In World-First Auction
Tech

Steve Jobs' 1973 Handwritten Job Application Will Test the Value of NFTs In World-First Auction

The first-ever physical vs. NFT bidding war.

One of Steve Jobs' Last Emails Outline Plans for Apple "iPhone Nano"
Tech

One of Steve Jobs' Last Emails Outline Plans for Apple "iPhone Nano"

A low-priced take on the flagship phone based on the iPod touch.

Steve Jobs' Famed Biographer is Writing a Book About Elon Musk's Success
Tech

Steve Jobs' Famed Biographer is Writing a Book About Elon Musk's Success

Walter Isaacson has been shadowing the Tesla CEO at work.


Caviar Crafts Limited-Edition Steve Jobs Bust and Custom iPhone 13 Pro
Tech

Caviar Crafts Limited-Edition Steve Jobs Bust and Custom iPhone 13 Pro

Made with parts from the original iPhone from 2007.

Chiodo Sydney Store Opening
Fashion

Chiodo Sydney Store Opening

Although primarily known for its buzzing Melbourne location, Chiodo has recently opened up a new

Cornelian Taurus by Daisuke Iwanaga Backpack
Fashion

Cornelian Taurus by Daisuke Iwanaga Backpack

The Cornelian Taurus by Daisuke Iwanaga brand is all about strong individual pieces built from

Mighty Healthy 2011 Fall Collection
Fashion

Mighty Healthy 2011 Fall Collection

Mighty Healthy rolls out its Fall 2011 collection with a strong assortment of graphic tees,

Nirvana - All Apologies (Sound Remedy Remix)
Music 

Nirvana - All Apologies (Sound Remedy Remix)

Chicago’s Sound Remedy is known for being notoriously selective when it comes to sophisticated

2011 Meet Design Show
Design

2011 Meet Design Show

Yatzer reports on the grand opening of the 2011 Meet Design Show in Rome, Italy. The exhibition is


Cartoonbrew: John Kricfalusi's 'Simpsons' Opening
Entertainment

Cartoonbrew: John Kricfalusi's 'Simpsons' Opening

With news of a Simpsons’ end in sight due to a dispute between voice actors and management, it’s

GQ 10 Essentials: Alex Dymond
Fashion

GQ 10 Essentials: Alex Dymond

For many good reasons, designer and entrepreneur Alex Dymond has become one today’s more renowned

Feist - Pine Moon
Music 

Feist - Pine Moon

Here comes the bonus track off Feist’s latest offering Metals. Entitled “Pine Moon,” the

Fool's Gold: A Day Off in New York City

Fool's Gold: A Day Off in New York City

Last month, record company Fool’s Gold hosted its annual Day Off block party. Taking over a

Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi's 'Rome' album set to become a film
Music 

Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi's 'Rome' album set to become a film

As Variety points out, music video director Chris Milk is currently working on a feature film

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.