IT misconception 10: “The subscription model for buying music has failed”.


To conclude our series of IT fallacies, we turn our attention to music. In 2003, a US entrepreneur we know very well made the following statement: “The subscription model for buying music has failed”.

You have already guessed who said this sentence? Correct, it was Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. We know in hindsight that he was very wrong with this statement. Jobs couldn’t do anything with the idea of a music subscription for years.


His quote in full:

“People have told us over and over again that they don’t want to rent their music. Just to be clear: Music is not like a video. You’ll see a favorite movie 10 times in your life, but you’ll listen to a favorite song thousands of times. If it costs you $10 a month to just rent that song through a subscription, that means I’m paying a subscription fee of over $1,000 over 10 years – just to be able to listen to my favorite song. Customers won’t go along with that. They don’t want subscriptions.”


If Jobs had done the math a little differently back then – that consumers weren’t paying for a single song, but millions of songs – we probably would have heard about Apple Music much sooner.


Times changed dramatically over the past nearly 20 years. The most popular way to listen to music for most of us is subscription-based music streaming.

As recently as 2007, Jobs expressed disapproval of this business model, but said, “Never say never.”


In the meantime, the Spotify music platform alone has over 165 million premium users, and thus 165 million people who pay to listen to music on a subscription model.


As you can see, even internationally known, extremely successful business people sometimes make mistakes that probably cost them large sums of money. But one way or another, mistakes are part and parcel of every human being. This is one of the reasons why we at Faktor Zehn have a very open error culture. Especially from mistakes you can learn a lot and further improve your skills.

We hope we’ve been able to make you smile with one or two IT misconceptions – and if you want to work at a company with an open error culture: We are always looking for new colleagues 😉


Your Faktor Zehn



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