Steve Jobs probably wasn’t a fan of Spotify. Or at least that’s what we can glean from a previously buried interview from 2003. The talk, which has only just been published, reveals the late Apple CEO’s thoughts on subscription music services.
Speaking with TIME Magazine reporter Laura Locke at the launch of the iTunes music store in 2003, Jobs talked about how he thought subscription music services of the time had “completely failed.”
He then asserted that “nobody wants to rent their music.” Pretty damning. While things have certainly come on a long way since 2003 – a time when Steve Jobs claimed that subscription services had “hardly any subscribers,” – you can reasonably assume that he never changed his opinion of the subscription music business model.
If he had, you’d probably be able to subscribe to iTunes for music now. He was famously stubborn on these kinds of things.
Spotify might be on the up and up now with over 2.5 million paying subscribers, but if Apple’s demi-god of a CEO said something was a bad idea then it’s unlikely that Apple would go against it. Ever.
Now that Tim Cook’s in charge of Apple you could argue that things may change, but we’d wager that Apple’s got too much vested in the way that iTunes currently works to go mucking around with the formula any time soon.
Despite Apple now offering subscriptions for publications, iTunes will almost definitely continue to sell you music on a one-off basis forever. Especially as they get a pretty good amount of cash out of every song purchased.