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Think Apple’s come too late to the music streaming party? Here’s why you’re wrong.

Fortune

There was plenty of chortling from the cheap seats when Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue fumbled the introduction of Apple Music at WWDC three weeks ago. “Eddy Cue is one undone shirt button away from getting kicked out of Margaritaville” tweeted Buzzfeed’s, Jessica Misener, to general laughter.

But with Apple’s new streaming music service set to go live tomorrow, nobody in the industry is laughing. Not even after the Taylor Swift affair.

Apple may be losing ground to Pandora and Spotify, but it’s still the industry’s 800 pound gorilla.

Or rather, 800 million. That’s how many iTunes accounts Apple has gathered in 14 years, each of them attached to a credit card. Pandora and Spotify have less than one tenth as many, and most of their customers are free-loading on an ad-supported account.

Can Apple persuade a generation raised on free streamed music to pay $9.99 per month for…

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