Megadeth bassist and cofounder David Ellefson says that late Apple CEO Steve Jobs saved the music business after he convinced the label heads to change their business model to begin selling music online via Apple's iTunes stores.
Prior to the launch of the iTunes music store in late April of 2003, the major record labels attempted various other strategies to sell music online and battle piracy, but without success.
Ellefson made the comments about Jobs after he was asked about the current struggles in the business during an appearance on theFIVE10 podcast (listen here).
He was asked how he manages to stay relevant with the ever changing music industry. David replied, "I think you just roll with the punches. I remember when the whole Napster thing was going on, and Lars, in particular, of Metallica was fighting the good fight, and they were absolutely right.
"And I remember our manager saying, 'Oh, don't jump into that controversy. You've gotta be careful.' And I said, 'F*** that. They're wrong. They're stealing our music. They are wrong, and Lars is right.' Unfortunately, it was an unwinnable battle. It's like looting, somebody just opened the front door of Walmart, and everybody ran in and stole everything. So even [Metallica] had to just sort of back off and let it take its course.
Ellefson then went on to praise the Apple cofounder and what he did to help turn things around for the music business at the start of the century. "Thank God for our pal Steve Jobs who, in my opinion, saved the music business.
"Even though it was self-serving 'cause he wanted to sell iPods - 'Hey, I've got a device. How do I get the music on there?', but Steve, to his credit, in his time away from Apple, he had made friends with Geffen and Katzenberg and all these guys down in Hollywood, and he understood Hollywood. He understood the film business, the music business, so with him being a computer guy, he rallied it together.
"I still buy everything on iTunes. I subscribe to Apple [Music]. I don't subscribe to Spotify. I don't give them my money, since they don't give me very much of my money. But Apple pays well, so thank you, Apple. And I buy all their products, and I own their stock. So I'm an Apple guy, through and through."