Apple hopes to win the white-hot music streaming war against the likes of Spotify by channeling the kind of model MTV employed in the 1980s and 1990s – essentially, by emotionally engaging users through a deeper association with musical acts.

Here’s what Apple Music’s Larry Jackson told Rolling Stone:

“MTV in its Eighties and Nineties heyday. You always felt that Michael Jackson or Britney Spears lived there. How do you emotionally conjure up that feeling for people?”

So, what does he mean by this? Well, as the article notes, many of the most successful tracks and artists of the last couple of years have Apple’s fingerprints all over them. From Drake’s “Hotline Bling”, to Taylor Swift’s tour movie, which featured on Apple Music, to M.I.A.’s “Borders” video, which Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently had a hand in.

Of course, Apple is far from funding this activity from its Music streaming service itself – Apple Music only has 15 million paid users compared to Spotify’s 30 million. However, with more exclusives and more partnerships, this may well be the route that puts Apple on top over the next few years. The question is, do you want your music corporately associated with your smartphone manufacturer?

Read more from Apple’s perspective in the full article on Rolling Stone.