As Apple prepares to incorporate the Beats team and products under its umbrella, new information from two Apple sources reveals how some “arrogant” executives paved the way to company’s acquisition of Beats (via BuzzFeed). Past and current employees in the company with direct knowledge of iTunes said that “the iTunes team was plagued by shortsighted management who ignored competitors while engineers used other streaming products rather than Apple’s”.
Apple employees confirmed that management actively ignored iTunes’ streaming competitors, with some managers refusing to open or use Spotify. According to one source, as recently “as last year,” some members of management didn’t even know that Spotify was an on-demand streaming service, assuming it was just a radio service. “They didn’t understand how Spotify worked, which is why they thought iTunes Radio would be a Spotify killer”, revealed the source.
“The management in particular were pretty much tone-deaf in what Spotify was and that’s why they’re panicking now,” the source said. Other managers referred to Pandora as a nonthreatening “dead company” because of its lack of revenue. Recommendations have been a problem for Apple and iTunes. According to a source familiar with the development of iTunes Radio, Apple thought it could use a consumer’s iTunes purchase history to determine what they’d want to listen to on iTunes Radio.
One of the employees also said that the biggest reason why Ping failed was because Apple was not interested in making a network, “they were interested in making a purchase pusher”.