Don't be impressed by Apple. Be impressed by Steve Jobs.
Everyone had been fighting the record companies and music industry, trying to convince them that digital distribution of music is not only good for illegal file sharing, but is the most efficient distribution form, and could be a huge benefit for the record companies - they wouldn't have the cost of manufacturing, stocking and distributing the actual CDs.
Nobody could make the record companies understand that. They were stuck in their old ways.
Enter Steve Jobs... with a few personal friends in the music industry, he had access to top management in the record companies, and he had the skills to explain and make them understand that digital distribution was going to be the most positive thing happening to the record companies' profit ever!
And by launching iTunes, he put his money where his mouth was.
What can we learn by this story? 1) It's not enough being a visionary. You must also be able to make your partners understand the value of your vision. 2) Having the right friends is the ultimate door opener.