Apple's digital-music revolution has been possible because the company is perceived by the music industry as being the most creative technology company, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Jobs told Rolling Stone magazine: "Apple is in a pretty interesting position, as almost every song and CD is made on a Mac – it's recorded on a Mac, it's mixed on a Mac, and the artwork's done on a Mac. Almost every artist I've met has an iPod, and most of the music execs now have iPods."
Jobs also put his company's success down to the fact that music company people are not technology people.
He said: "When the Internet came along and Napster came along, people in the music business didn't know what to make of the changes. A lot of these folks didn't use computers, weren't on email – didn't really know what Napster was for a few years.
"They were pretty doggone slow to react. Matter of fact, they still haven't really reacted. So they're vulnerable to people telling them technical solutions will work – when they won't."
According to Jobs, at first the record companies "kicked us out", but in the end Apple was able to get the record companies on-side because the company "made predictions" and "we were right".
He explained: "We told them the music subscription services they were pushing were going to fail. MusicNet was gonna fail, Pressplay was gonna fail. Here's why: People don't want to buy their music as a subscription."
But although iTunes has sold 20 million songs to date, Jobs admitted: "We're never going to top the illegal downloading services." Putting this in context he said: "Remember, there are 10 billion songs that are distributed in the US every year – legally – on CDs. So far on iTunes we've distributed about 16 million [up to October]. So we're at the very beginning of this."
Discussing the decision to expand the iPod and the iTunes Music Store for the Windows platform, Jobs said: "The biggest risk was that we saw people buying Macs just to get their hands on iPods. Taking iPods to Windows – that was the big decision. We knew once we did that that we were going to go all the way. I'm sure we're losing some Mac sales, but half our sales of iPods are to the Windows world already."