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News October 27, 2015

Tim Cook says Beats Music’s curation was deciding factor in acquisition

Former Editor

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with US talk show host and journalist Charlie Rose to discuss the AU$3.25 billion Beats acquisition, the Apple Watch, iPhone 6, iCloud security and Steve Jobs.

Of course, Cook had nothing but praise for Beats’ co-founders Jimmy Iovinne and Dr. Dre: “Jimmy and Dre are off the charts creative geniuses, they also had teams underneath them that I really liked.” However, Cook revealed he was at first skeptical about the pair’s streaming service Beats Music, “[…] because Jimmy had told me how great it was.”

Cook said the selling point was Beats’ curation process, which at first overstepped competitors by offering playlists created by both well-known musicians and music writers.

“One night, I’m sitting playing with theirs versus some others,” Cook said, “and all of a sudden it dawns on me that when I listen to theirs for a while, I feel completely different. And the reason is: they recognised that human curation was important in the subscription service. The sequence of songs that you listen to affects how you feel […] “I couldn’t sleep that night, so I was thinking ‘we need to do this’.”

Unsurprisingly, the Beats Music formula is already being replicated by other audio streaming services. Earlier this month Rdio unveiled an update to its free service, which offers stations based on users’ favourite artists, and in August last year Spotify unveiled its playlist feature, which is curated by its staff members and based around genres, activities, moods and occasions.

Watch the full interview below

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