Google boss Eric Schmidt hints at Apple Music ‘elitism’

Schmidt's veiled references seem to target the streaming newcomer

Eric Schmidt – the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet – seems to have taken a swipe at Apple Music in an article published by the BBC on artificial intelligence this weekend (September 12).

Talking about Google Play under the heading ‘smarter music’, Schmidt said:

“In the next generation of software, machine learning won’t just be an add-on that improves performance a few percentage points; it will really replace traditional approaches.”

“To give just one example: a decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.”

The latter sentence describes a key element of Apple Music’s business model.


“Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be,” he continues.

“As a bonus, it’s a much less elitist taste-making process – much more democratic – allowing everyone to discover the next big star through our own collective tastes and not through the individual preferences of a select few.”

The quotes appear to take a pot shot at Apple Music in the context of it’s recent promotional moves, which have focused on hiring ‘tastemakers’ in order to curate content, though Schmidt never explicitly identifies Apple.

In fact, Mashable described Apple’s service earlier this year and ‘curation, curation, curation’. The likes of Zane Lowe, Drake, Pharrell and a host of other artists have contributed to Apple Music since it launched.