Apple Mu­sic Gets New Lea­der

L'Opinion - - The Wall Street Journal & LOpinion - Tripp Mi­ckle

Apple Inc. AAPL + 0.00% tap­ped the head of its Eu­ro­pean mu­sic and content ope­ra­tions to lead Apple Mu­sic world-wide, a role of gro­wing im­por­tance as the tech giant aims to boost its ser­vices re­ve­nue amid slo­wer iP­hone unit sales.

Oli­ver Schus­ser, who joi­ned Apple in 2004 and in­tro­du­ced iTunes in Eu­rope, will be­come vice pre­sident of Apple Mu­sic and in­ter­na­tio­nal content, re­por­ting to Ed­dy Cue, se­nior vice pre­sident, in­ter­net soft­ware and ser­vices. Mr. Cue made the an­noun­ce­ment in an email to staff Wed­nes­day, ac­cor­ding to a per­son fa­mi­liar with the email. The ap­point­ment was re­por­ted ear­lier by Va­rie­ty.

The pro­mo­tion comes weeks af­ter Jim­my Io­vine, who has been the pu­blic face of Apple Mu­sic, confir­med he would tran­si­tion in­to a consul­ting role in Au­gust. He joi­ned Apple as part of its ac­qui­si­tion of Beats Elec­tro­nics LLC in 2014 for $3 bil­lion, a deal that hel­ped jump-start Apple’s mu­sic-strea­ming ser­vice even as it suf­fe­red from ear­ly de­si­gn is­sues and la­ter fa­ced cri­ti­cal re­views around a push in­to ori­gi­nal content.

Mr. Schus­ser takes over as Apple Mu­sic is poi­sed to sur­pass mu­sic-strea­ming ri­val Spo­ti­fy Tech­no­lo­gy SA in the U. S. in paid sub­scri­bers. The mu­sic unit has be­come a key piece of Apple’s stra­te­gy to boost its ser­vices re­ve­nue to more than $ 40 bil­lion by 2020, a cri­ti­cal part of the com­pa­ny’s fu­ture as people hold on to iP­hones lon­ger and de­vice sales slow, ana­lysts say. Ser­vices re­ve­nue for Apple’s fis­cal year en­ded last Sep­tem­ber was $ 29.98 bil­lion, or about 13% of the com­pa­ny’s to­tal.

Mr. Cue told staff that Apple Mu­sic has rea­ched more than 40 mil­lion paid sub­scri­bers, an 11% in­crease in sub­scri­bers since Fe­brua­ry.

Mr. Schus­ser will re­lo­cate to the U. S. from Lon­don and split time bet­ween Apple Mu­sic’s of­fices in Cu­per­ti­no, Ca­lif., and Cul­ver Ci­ty, Ca­lif.

He pre­vious­ly over­saw the in­ter­na­tio­nal launches of the App Store, iTunes Mo­vies, iTunes TV, iBooks, Apple News and Apple Pod­casts. He al­so hel­ped create live events like the iTunes Mu­sic Festival, and ma­na­ged la­bel, stu­dio and pu­bli­sher re­la­tion­ships out­side the U.S.

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