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Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Thinks Apple Has Stopped Innovating, Endorses Spotify

Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon is decidedly unimpressed with Apple's just-announced streaming service.

Dear Apple: Justin Vernon thinks you’ve changed and, well, he doesn’t even know you anymore. The Bon Iver frontman is decidedly unimpressed with the company’s just-announced streaming service, Apple Music, among other things, telling his Twitter followers that Apple has lost its way in the innovation dept.

After referencing a Fact article headlined “Is Apple Music proof that the company has stopped innovating?” Vernon concurred, saying “the company that made me believe in companies, and not joking PEOPLE, is no more.” He then connected his own dip in music consumption over the last two years to Apple’s flagship product.


He later got nostalgic when bringing up past Apple releases, including iTunes 3 and iMovie 2.1. “I remember the computer teaching ME how to use it, by having such amazing design,” he said.


Vernon stressed he isn’t being a hater, “Just literally wish that the humans who had the power, USED it to literally make things better.” He doesn’t elaborate on specific issues he has with Apple Music, which launches June 30. As previously reported, Apple will offer a free three-month trial for the service, which means no rights holders will be paid royalties during that time. (In fact, indie publishers have had no contact from the company seeking licenses.)

In the past, Vernon has gone on record as a Spotify user and recently thanked the Daniel Ek-led service for its part in (finally!) turning him on to trip-hop heroes Portishead. (The same can’t be said about Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, who earlier this year complained loudly of getting ripped off by the company, as well as Apple, YouTube and Universal Music, saying he’s only received £1700 for 34 million streams of his band’s songs.)

For his part, Vernon said he’s been “loving” Spotify these days, but still prefers good ol’ fashioned physical music to digital or streaming. 

Since putting Bon Iver on hold following a pair of Grammy wins in 2012, Vernon has focused on other projects, including working with Kanye West and the Staves, and producing a new Blind Boys of Alabama album in 2013. Bon Iver is returning later this summer to headline Vernon’s Eaux Claires music festival.