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Apple CEO Tim Cook Worried That Humanity is ‘Being Drained Out of Music’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has recently lashed out at other music streaming services over the lack of focus on human curation that they provide.

“I couldn’t make it through a workout without music,” Cook says. “Music inspires, it motivates. It’s also the thing at night that helps quiet me. I think it’s better than any medicine.”

In a quick sitdown with Fast Company‘s Robert Safian, Cook, however, expressed his disdain over algorithms and mechanical processes taking over the music business, saying he worries the “humanity” is being sapped from today’s music.

“We worry about the humanity being drained out of music, about it becoming a bits-and-bytes kind of world instead of the art and craft,” said Cook.

While Cook didn’t point any fingers, his comment is certainly an implied swipe at Spotify’s (and other music services’) primarily algorithm-driven method for suggesting and exposing users to music.

The 57-year-old Apple CEO highlighted that Apple Music, the biggest competitor to Spotify, uses humans to build its playlists. According to Cook, this approach represents “art and craft” over “bits and bytes.” Cook’s comments mirror Apple‘s longstanding criticism of the way Spotify suggests music and builds playlists for its users.

Although Apple overwhelmingly dominated the download era of digital music in the aughts, Spotify currently has more paid subscribers and more listeners. Spotify boasts 170 million users in more than 60 countries, with 75 million of those people being paid subscribers to the streaming service.

Safian’s full piece is full of interesting details and can be read in its entirety here.

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