Tim Cook and the NSA Chief Almost Shared a Stage Last Night

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Music nets 6.5M paid users. Can it convince you to pay for music? (+video).

At the Wall Street Journal’s global technology conference, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook announced that pre-ordering for the new Apple TV will open on Monday. Today, Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, is in Silicon Valley, seeking no doubt to persuade the tech industry that the nation’s security apparatus is on its side.On Tuesday, Apple announced that it has 15 million total users and 6.5 million paid users on Apple Music, the music-streaming service it launched over the summer. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Beijing or thereabouts, where Chinese consumers apparently need little persuading to keep buying what his company is selling.

As guests sipped wine from Rupert Murdoch’s Bel Air vineyard, two men who have to be more careful than nearly anyone else on the planet about what they say spoke at length, separately, about technology and trade, privacy and security, email and ownership. Apple Music launched with a three-month free trial offer, a move aimed at showing the curious iwhat Apple Music offered over more established streaming sites.

That’s not bad for a brand new streaming music service that is taking on a giant field of strong incumbents that includes Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, Google, and a sea of other contenders. Apple Music’s success is particularly impressive, considering the mixed reviews that Apple Music has received, particularly when compared with Spotify. “This is completely at odds with the feedback that the service has received where Spotify offers a better experience with a much richer feature set at the same price,” noted Richard Windsor, analyst at Edison Investment Research. Apple Music automatically appears on the home screens of customers who have recently purchased new iPhones or iPads – or upgraded to the new iOS 9 software. And Rogers made clear that Edward Snowden was he who shall not be named. (He repeatedly referred to the former NSA contractor’s revelations as “the media leaks.”) But their back-to-back appearances were revealing in another sense.

In his world as he described it, Rogers serves the citizen, and serving the citizen means meeting two imperatives: protecting the rights of the individual while providing for collective security. What Rogers did effectively say is that Silicon Valley and the NSA need to get past their differences in order to “create an environment within a framework that we as citizens are comfortable with that enable the importance of these two imperatives. ” And in a way, Tim Cook, who took the stage after Rogers, agreed. By targeting only paying customers, Apple is gambling that music listeners will view access to Apple’s curated lists and other services as more appealing than listening to music for free elsewhere. Its smart people have forced every business in the world to rethink how it operates, while in the process building the biggest businesses in the world itself. In the end, the NSA wants to be able to peer at personal data, while Apple thinks it will sell more phones if it encrypts that data so no one can see.

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