Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue is responsible for the content portfolio of the company including iTunes stores, Apple Music, Apple Pay and Apple Maps among others. He has been a part of the tech firm for over three decades and has played a vital role in creating a number of key services.
He is currently pushing the company into areas such as TV and Hollywood programming, video content and music. Apple has reportedly been preparing them into producing original content as well. Cue has also been recently overseeing Apple’s voice assistant service Siri. In a recent interview, he has spoken about the company’s plans for Apple Music in India. It has already been spearheaded with CEO Tim Cook, who toured India and he hosted a bunch of Bollywood celebrities while announcing the setting up of two Mac Labs at AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatories.
During an interview with some of the leading tabloids in India, Eddy Cue made some significant points about Apple’s plans in India and here’s what we can learn out of them:
Apple’s next big plans for India
Cue has reiterated that Apple is taking the Indian market seriously and their engineers have been working towards offering services that better suit the needs of Indians. “There are a bunch of services that we haven’t announced yet and are working on, for example, and we want them to be available in India first…Part of this and having the engineers here is to make sure that we are thinking of India right from the product development cycle,” he said
From a content point of view which is an essential of part of the company’s business, he says that the culture of India is perfect to create quality content. “We’ve spoken about music, about films, about entertainment…these are things that are part of India’s culture for many, many years. These are things that are part of my DNA,” he said
He further said that the company has a “huge opportunity in India” which is global since Indian people are scattered all across the world, and the people are constantly discovering music, talent and movies from the country. And they also “know how to do that well too.”
When asked about Apple’s involvement with Bollywood, he mentioned that they are indeed heavily involved with the entertainment industry specifically via Apple Music in India. He mentioned, “There’s a lot more that we want to do with music in India. Secondly, there is a lot we want to do with bringing Indian music outside to the rest of the world.”
He mentioned that the company has been working with many new artists as well as the existing ones to establish their music business in the country. Their project with AR Rahman on KM Music conservatory is one of the key examples of such endeavours. He says, “It was great to set up a couple of labs with all the Apple equipment, creating from scholarships.”
He also dropped a hint about a new project that would involve Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht of Sony Television to lead their video work in Los Angeles. He said, “Bollywood is as good at creating content as anybody else around the world. And I am sure we will do things here because it’s a great film and entertainment market.”
Future of Apple Music in India
Cue has initiated the student subscriptions for Apple Music in India aiming towards attracting the younger crowd to using the flagship service of the company. Talking about further plans, he says, “It’s always about the music first, and then there are the features and functions that help.”
Are Apple’s plans for India an afterthought?
Apple has been criticized for focusing on the Indian market as much of an afterthought previously; be it the launch of the latest iPhone models or services. Eddy Cue accepts that it is indeed a valid criticism in a way since the company is not yet aware of the features that are provided in India are suitable. However, he reassures by saying that they are planning to improve this. “But that’s why we are here. We are changing that hugely,” he said.
He talks about the exclusive products that they have in the Indian market now. “When you look at the products that we have, students discounts – those are things that wouldn’t have been in the past here, but now they are here on Day One,” he says.
Cue also said that the Indian market is becoming the most aggressive price point for Apple music in India which has been done uniquely in the country. He says that the company plans to stay in the Indian market for a long-term and is making sure that while introducing new products and services they are thinking of India.