Beats founder Jimmy Iovine and Apple’s head of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue are banking on human curation to set Apple Music apart from other streaming services, The Loop reports. Iovine said Beats 1 is less predictable than an algorithm-based playlist that leaves users stuck in a certain era or certain sound. Adding DJs back into the mix — but leaving them free from worrying about playing songs just because they’re hits at the moment — provides the flexibility to have an indie artist follow a mainstream act, or a rap track follow a rock song. “It works,” said Iovine. “And it works because the DJ is in the middle explaining how it works. DJs give you context.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor said other music services left him “feeling a little lacking.” For Reznor, who helped create Beats 1, the listening experience should make music discovery more accessible, like walking into a record shop where people are taking the time to help customers navigate through unfamiliar genres. “It’s exciting,” Reznor said. “And you leave with stuff you wouldn’t have dreamed you wanted and you’re excited to listen and share it and experience it.”
After adding notable music industry holdouts like Dr. Dre, Taylor Swift and AC/DC to its stable of 30 million songs and assembling a star-studded team of DJs to man the booth, Apple Music is expected to launch today at 11 a.m. Eastern time. While much has been written about the new service’s potential profitability and payment distributions, Cue said customer experience, above all, will determine whether the product is a success.
“Obviously, over time others will judge it by the numbers, but that’s not the way we’ve ever judged our products,” Cue said. “The numbers are the end result. The way we judge it is are people loving and having an experience with it that’s better than anything they thought was possible.”