∞ Bon Jovi says Steve Jobs killed the music business

Jon Bon Jovi is laying his cards on the table and the blame for the demise of the music industry at Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ feet.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]In an interview over the weekend, Bon Jovi said the experience we once knew of buying an album is gone. He lamented that the brick-and-mortar stores are disappearing, thanks to the success of the iTunes Store.

“I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business,” said Bon Jovi in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine.

For many consumers today, they don’t know what it’s like to go into a record store and buy an album or CD — at least the way we used to. But I’m all in favor of the iTunes Store and what’s it’s been able to do for music.

I purchase much more music now than I ever did before. I think a lot of that comes down to convenience for me. I want it, and I want it now. With iTunes, that’s what I get.

  • i think crap music killed the music industry not iTunes store and overpriced cd’s, vinyl’s, tapes or whatever…

    • Anonymous


      Guess now the music industry big shots will have to get real jobs.

      Now consumer’s are holding the handle, no longer the blade.

      I hope SJ kills the airline, auto, education, government services, and countless other industries that also need to be upended.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t have said it better. Formulaic dirge or overproduced, under-talented instantly-forgettable, auto-tuned junk delivered by an faceless sea of wannabes. I love music. I hate what’s its become. All Steve Jobs did was make it cheaper and more accessible. Poor Bon Jovi, pick one of your estates to retire to and count your blessings.

    • Nnm

      Right on the spot. There were/are so many bands putting out albums with one good single and twelve other tracks of uninspired filler material. Who in their right mind wants to full album price for the one good single?! The music industry took advantage of this situation for years.

    • Richard


  • Bon Jovi seems to be forgetting that the experience of going into a record store was dying long before iTunes came around. If anything, you could say that digital music, ala the CD, is what killed that experience. Once the music was able to be transmitted through email, put on web sites, shared through services such as Napster and other pier-to-pier networks, the idea of buying physical media began its decline. If anything, iTunes helped keeping profits coming in from music sales. Bon Jovi owes Steve Jobs a big “Thank you”.

    • Pier-to-pier? You must be thinking of the fishing industry, not the music industry. 🙂

  • Steven Fisher

    I still buy CDs from time to time, but I can honestly say the only reason Bon Jovi’s seen any of my money over the last five years is because they had their tracks on the iTunes Store. I picked up one off that I’d heard and liked (not enough to buy an album by any means), continued to like it, and some weeks later picked up a couple more off the album.

    Heck, I may STILL “complete my album” that one day.

    But I wouldn’t’ve bought anything if not for Steve Jobs “killing” the industry.

  • Arnold Ziffel

    Poor little Jon Bon Jovi. Steve Jobs and Apple made online music an actual business, not just a process for people to steal music.

    What a goober!

  • Never trust a pop-artist from New Jersey who keeps mixing his metaphors.

  • Mjad1965

    Who gives a nard’s ass what a worthless clown like Bon Jovi thinks.

    • Ed G

      JBJ is “No-talent a$$-clown” #2? 🙂

  • Michael

    What a stupid idiot, you should be grateful iTunes came along and gave you a decent alternative to downloading illegally.

  • itunes is just a tool for delaying the music revolution. The Internet should eliminate all intermediaries, not preserve them. iTunes only works for the majors. iTunes is an intermediary, and on top of that it’s completely proprietary. itunes is like a music store controlled by big major record labels and that only works on one type of music player sold by only one company.

    Mp3.com back in 1999 was the revolution we should have had. Napster back in 1999 was the revolution we should have had. Sadly there was nobody in any Governments courageous enough to come forward and demand the systems like Michael Robertson’s Mp3.com and Napster to become standard way to distribute music without intermediaries, give 100% of the profits to the artists directly, eliminate consumerism, let people pay a blanket monthly fee for unlimited access to all music and redistribute the money simply by quality, popularity of each second of each song.

  • His Shadow

    Add business to the list of things Bon Jovi doesn’t understand.

    What Apple did was attach a value to music and got people to recognize that value and pay for music. Anyone care to envision the music industry woes if Apple and Jobs hadn’t been successful in attaching a monetary value to music tracks?

  • Obi-Wandreas

    You mean the business of forcing me to buy the music you like so that I can get the music I like?

  • Of course he would complain about this: If you produce 10 crappy songs and two good ones per album, it’s bad when the customer has the choice to only buy the two good ones.

    Sorry Jonny Boy, get with the beat and stop complaining. I buy CDs for the supreme audio quality, if the album is worth it, Jon Bovi’s never were.

    Disclaimer: I don’t like this man’s music. I think it’s tacky, repetitive and dull. My ex-girlfriend adored his music, which doesn’t help his case one.single.bit.

  • Of course he would complain about this: If you produce 10 crappy songs and two good ones per album, it’s bad when the customer has the choice to only buy the two good ones.

    Sorry Jonny Boy, get with the beat and stop complaining. I buy CDs for the supreme audio quality, if the album is worth it, Jon Bovi’s never were.

    Disclaimer: I don’t like this man’s music. I think it’s tacky, repetitive and dull. My ex-girlfriend adored his music, which doesn’t help his case one.single.bit.

  • Anonymous

    I believe Nelson (from the Simsons) said it best when he said “HA-HA!!”

    Seriously, it’s pretty obvious that Bon Jovi isn’t exactly a rocket scientist. However, his take on revisionist history is somewhat amusing. It’s far more likely that Steve Jobs is responsible for saving the music industry than he is for killing it. Prior to iTunes, the downward trend of music sales was already fully underway. After years of being forced to buy tracks nobody wanted, many, many people resorted to piracy. It all started with Napster, then to Limewire, then to Bit Torrent, etc. The tool may have changed, but the concept was the same. Apple is to blame helping to bring back legal purchases by making it convenient and selling a product people actually want and nothing more.

  • Personally, the day I realized I never again had to endure the attitude-filled workers at Tower Records was a great day indeed. For some reason, most of them felt like they were the rock stars instead of the under-paid clerks they were. I do miss some of the indie stores, but it’s so much more convenient to order CDs from Amazon. Not every business model survives market shifts. Next to go is the record labels.

    • Same here. I loved buying CDs from my local retailer and the number of good recommendations I got from the owner I don’t even want to count, but for me buying CDs has become a means to an end: getting music in a higher quality than Amazon and iTunes offer it.

      The moment someone offers lossless music online, I won’t buy one more CD.

      • You should try beatport or trackitdown.net as they offer music at 320kbps and also .WAV but both are geared toward EDM and not mainstream, so don’t expect to find the Rolling stones or Katy Perry on there not unless it’s some underground remix. But there is no reason why iTunes couldn’t offer WAV download at an extra cost. It’s something I’d be very much interested in as long as there wasn’t too much of a difference in price.

  • James

    I would argue that crappy acts like Bon Jovi (represented today by the likes of Miley Cyrus, except wait – her music sells) killed the music business, making albums dictated to them by their labels with a couple of hits and some filler; the people that still buy albums as opposed to singles these days were never interested in that kind of mainstream pap. This sounds more like whining to me, that the good old days of not needing to have any talent or make genuinely interesting music to make a fortune or get the chicks are behind us. Boo f****** hoo, John.

  • Kiowavt

    Was Bon Jovi trolling?

    Seriously, I loved albums and covers, but CDs killed that by size, and the $16,99 greedydriven list price (discounted at $12.99 –oh wow!!) killed my urge to buy anything. Along came Napster. Revolt against $16.99 began. Steve Jobs turned that back around, making at least a high percentage of music legally purchased. And, on iTunes, I find I discover added songs I love, or even whole albums worth having, when otherwise I would never have considered anything beyond one tempting song. More likely Steve Jobs saved the music industry from being only file sharing.

    • Nnm

      Absolutely! I am able to discover and purchase loads of music in all sorts of genres that were not available in brick and mortar shops – especially here in small town America. Back in the day, all you could find was rock, country, R&B, and some limited alternative. Looking through my music collection now, I have all sorts of additional genres: ska, zydeco, french 60s ye-ye, polka, hawaiian, etc.

  • Bryan

    Dear John:

    Shut the hell up.

    10 years ago everyone in the music business was crying that the end was nye because piracy was the harbinger of doom.

    Now piracy is a non-factor. Apple has made it so easy to buy music that piracy just isn’t worth the hassle for most people. Rather than laud the folks at Cupertino for saving the industry, they whine and cry about liner notes and 30% commissions.

    Hey Bon Jovi — look up “Selfish” and “Ungrateful” in the dictionary.

  • Bon jovi

    Eh? Apple is the bad guy for destroying music stores, but he likes iTunes? The statements seems somewhat conflicting

  • I think those last two paragraphs are Jim’s opinion, not JBJ’s quote. But all the comments here are dead on. Musicians should be thankful we’re paying anything at all for the garbage they put out on a regular basis.

  • Anonymous

    I thought his 80’s music was pop garbage. He should fade away and shut up!

  • Vamsmack

    Hate that guy.

    Love iTunes. I went into a music store in Melbourne and they were asking for $36 for a single CD release of Nine Inch Nails, on iTunes? $18. Thats why the music industry is in trouble they’re greedy assholes who punish loyal fans, they actually said the reason they charge more for Nine Inch Nails releases was because the fans would pay it where they wouldn’t for other pop musicians.

    Any of the other CD’s I want are almost double what I will pay on iTunes. KMFDM released an EP on iTunes for like 8 bucks in the local music store it was $19.

    • gosh

      ebay and jb hifi will sell cheap cds. sometimes cheaper han itunes

  • At virtually every private party I DJ at, Bon Jovi gets requested. His music may not appeal to everyone and although I don’t like all his/their songs, some do make good floor fillers. Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas is also on record blaming iTunes for the demise of the record business and although I do purchase virtually all my songs from iTunes I recently found information to show that artists receive just a 10th of Apple’s share of that 99 cents. However the true demise in my opinion is record companies releasing albums were 9 or 10 or the tracks already or have already been released as singles. In my profession that means I’ve paid far more than the cost of an album in purchasing each individual track making sure I have the latest songs for my events. I know I’m far from alone and I would expect millions of others buying the tracks they like as opposed to buying a full album with 50% of the content not appealing to their tastes.

    So what does all this mean. Artists and record companies should release Albums that do not contain chart singles and make them ‘only album’ purchases, They could add exclusive video content like ‘making of’, interviews and behind the scenes footage during production of some of the chart singles as part of that Album to give the true fans something extra making the purchase very worth while.

  • Anonymous

    If by the machine which produces garbage like the Backstreet Boys and Boyz2Men or whatever crap they’re called, then yes, Steve Jobs is destroying the music industry. And what will remain? People with talent, with something to say, and who know music, not marketing.

    The king is dead, long live the King! BB and otherwise!

  • Anonymous

    Bon Jovi is a steaming pile of horse dung.

  • gosh

    BUT BON JOVI has to remember that people who like that particular bands music a lot will still buy cds.

  • Anonymous

    Of course he hates iTunes; people can now buy 1 or 2 songs @ .99 cents or $1.29 vs. $16 for a CD. I LOVE that I can buy just the songs I want, and not an entire album of songs I don’t want/need.

    What JBJ doesn’t understand is that HE, and his BAND are no longer relevant. He had his time, got into the the popularity club called the Rocking Roll Hall of Fame, and he now needs to go away. The only one’s that like him are the 40 & 50 somethings. Kids, and younger listeners refer to them as “The group of old guys”.

  • Dfreg

    Jobs didn’t kill the “music business”… just their business model.

  • I think JBJ has a point…. I’m not a fan…. but that’s why theres a crowd starting Vinyl Record Clubs

    My take on his point: http://blog.vinylvenue.co.uk/2011/01/vinyl-records-vs-digital-no-vinyl-are.html

  • Reddogslc

    Greedy has been Musicians

  • Gustav

    I disagree. What about those that can write but can’t sing? Or vice versa. There still needs to be an industry to handle tours, production, putting together writers with performers, etc.

    That said, the industry now is in a sad shape of executives and lawyers desperately trying to preserve the old business model where those that do the least amount of work, get the most amount of profits. It needs a reboot.

  • Gustav

    Uhm… does Mr. Bon Jovi forget 45s? Back when people bought vinyl, they also bought 45s for when they wanted a song but didn’t want the whole album. Only in the late 80s and 90s when CDs took over were we forced to buy whole albums.

  • I hated going into record stores!! I always felt like an out of it dork. I always felt like the people in the store, clerks and customers, were judging even the records I looked at. Don’t even think about the music I would buy. Except I didn’t. I barely ever bought music because I found the store environment so intimidating. Bono is an ultra-confident zillionaire. For me, iTunes made music work for me.

    ALSO, Steve Jobs didn’t wreck the music industry. To the extent that anything did, it’s technology. iTunes made it possible for any music to get sold at all.

    You know, I admire his good works but I’ve always thought Bono was a bit pompous. His nostalgia for the record store of yore ignores the huge amount of good digital music has done for self-published bands, musical variety, and me.


  • Anonymous

    Bon Jovi – it is classic rock music! and hard to argue with that! Immediately reminded of his famous song “its my life. ” She established and now, it’s drive! Recently found on http://torrentoff.com of his full discography, which has a lot of songs not included in the galleries, studio versions of songs! It is hard to describe … it is necessary to listen! That’s cool!

  • Jovi needs to get a clue, and look in the mirror, the record companies mostly, and artists to a degree have killed it. There are plenty of bands and artists that have adapted to change. Deal with it!!!!