Fast Company’s former editor and good friend Bob Safian recently returned to contribute a profile on Spotify founder Daniel Ek, in which they discussed his views on music distribution and curation. For a contrasting viewpoint, Safian also talked to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the way he and his company view music. Here’s what Cook said:
“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.”
Apple Music relies mainly on human curation to suggest music to users, while Spotify depends on algorithms. Cook didn’t call out Spotify by name but he is clearly highlighting the difference in approach with this quote:
”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.”
Reading this, I wasn’t sure if Cook was talking about the way tracks are chosen for users, or the way music itself is created by songwriters and producers. Either way, he’s right.