Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down recently with Fast Company to talk about the growth and changes in the music industry. Cook’s comments are buried in a broader piece on Spotify’s future now that it has gone public…

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Tim Cook sat down with Fast Company’s Robert Safian at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino to talk about his personal love of music, as well as Apple’s. The Apple CEO touts that he “couldn’t make it through a workout” without listening to music, while he also believes music is “better than any medicine.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook is seated in his personal conference room inside the company’s spaceshiplike headquarters in Cupertino, talking to me about his love of music. “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.”

Cook goes on to say that Apple as a company worries about “humanity being drained out of music,” with too much of a focus being put on algorithmic-based recommendations. Cook says that music should focus on the “art and craft” as opposed to the “bits-and-bytes.”

Cook’s words embody Apple’s longstanding critique of Spotify, which is that its algorithms are eroding music’s spiritual role in our lives. Cook doesn’t mention Spotify by name but says, “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.”

Since Apple Music’s inception – and even before through iTunes – Apple put a focus on human curation. It uses the Apple Music ‘Up Next’ program to highlight up and coming artists such as Amy Shark and Daniel Caesar, while iTunes and Apple Music are both home to hand-curated playlists based on genres, moods, and much more.

Read the full piece on Spotify’s role in the music industry – and how Apple’s approach differs – in Fast Company’s full piece right here.


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