Just What Exactly is Apple Up To?

John Maxwell Hobbs

Published earlier today on Medium

There are a lot of articles analysing Apple’s new music service. (James Cridland’s got a good list of them here.)

The majority of them are coming from tech journalists, and unfortunately, they suffer from a major lack of knowledge of how the music business actually works. They are worth reading, but prepare yourself for a lot of confusing the tray for the meal.

Where most of the current analysis falls down is by treating the three elements of the service, Beats 1, Connect, and the streaming service as unconnected.

1. The Beats deal. Most of the press has been scratching their heads as to why Apple would spend US$3billion to buy a headphone company and a streaming music service with a small subscriber base. The answer is that it’s not about the hardware. They spent US$3billion to buy Jimmy Iovine, one…

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