So Jobs set out to create an "iTunes Store" and to persuade the five top record companies to allow digital versions of their songs to be sold there.
"I've never spent so much of my time trying to convince people to do the right thing for themselves," he recalled.
Because the companies were worried about the pricing model and unbundling of albums,
Jobs pitched that his new service would be only on the Macintosh, a mere 5% of the market.
They could try the idea with little risk.
"We used our small market share to our advantage by arguing that if the store turned out to be destructive it wouldn't destroy the entire universe," he recalled.
Jobs's proposal was to sell digital songs for 99 cents -- a simple and impulsive purchase.
The record companies would get 70 cents of that.
Jobs insisted that this would be more appealing than the monthly subscription model preferred by the music companies.
He believed that people had an emotional connection to the songs they loved.
They wanted to own "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Shelter from the Storm," not just rent them.
As he told Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone at the time,
"I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model and it might not be successful."