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SXSW 2018: Eddy Cue On The Expanding Apple Ecosystem
There's no doubt that Apple has made some sweeping changes to the way its products align with the consumption of music — look no further than the success of their Apple Music streaming service or the rampant rumors the iTunes music digital download store could be discontinued.
In a keynote conversation held at SXSW at the Austin Convention Center in Texas on March 12, Apple Senior VP, Internet, Software and Services Eddy Cue took some time to shed light into Apple's ecosystem expansion plans, including the music sector, with CNN's Dylan Byers.
The Apple Music subscription service grew in line with expectations last month, from 36 million subscribers to 38 million. But the paying customers for Apple Music and other subscription services are just a small part of the much larger demographic Apple is already serving.
"We have half a billion people visiting the App Store every week," said Cue. "There are easily 2 billion people in the world who can afford to pay for some level of music, yet Spotify and Apple Music combined have only around 100 million subs globally. There's a huge gap there and we both have to grow by a significant amount in order to get to the numbers that we should be at. … The opportunity here … is about sheer growth for music streaming, about compensating for that audience gap."
In addition, Cue highlighted Apple's smart speaker, HomePod, emphasizing its high music intelligence and its potential in a market with other smart speakers. Cue also reported the expanding adoption for Apple's AR software development kit, now in use by more than 2,000 App Store titles, saying the technology would become "a mainstream product that people use every single day."
Focusing on various touchpoints in Apple's business model, from streaming to apps, AR and more, it seems no matter what the rumors say, Apple isn't straying far from keeping music at the core of their business.