In a controversial comment made at a recent technology conference, the CFO of Pandora has stated that Steve Jobs' iTunes launch is responsible for the downfall of the music industry.

Pandora chief financial officer Mike Herring made the comments at the Wedbush 2015 "California Dreamin' Technology" Consumer Management Access Conference in Santa Monica, Calif. He stated that "... Steve Jobs eviscerated the music industry with the launch of iTunes and it's been downhill ever since.  And the download was supposed to save it, that didn't happen. Now on-demand streaming is supposed to save it. We will see if that happens."

Herring gave no additional explanation as to exactly how he feels Steve Jobs singlehandedly brought down the music industry with the launch of iTunes. It is widely accepted that the decline of the music industry was a result of several factors — many of which were internal — and most experts certainly don't consider Apple's iTunes launch as one of them.

The onset of online music piracy via Napster (and subsequent alternatives such as Kazaa and LimeWire) is generally considered the most important initial factor in the music industry's steep millennial sales decline. Other oft-cited factors include the lack of artist development, the overpricing of CDs, the inclusion of cheap, inferior "filler" tracks on albums and the general lack of planning and preparation within the music industry for the technological changes that ultimately affected it.

Steve Jobs' introduction of iTunes is credited by most as the first viable music purchasing and listening platform that resonated with consumers and encouraged them to purchase — not pirate — music digitally. Its simplicity and intuitive user interface, which integrated seamlessly into the iPod hardware, revolutionized the way that people purchase and listen to music. To blame Jobs for "eviscerating" the music industry ignores the main culprit — the industry itself, which initially ignored and refused to adapt to the fast changing technological advances that ultimately helped make iTunes a huge success.

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