Pollstar has announced that Apple SVP Eddy Cue will have a Q&A session with Variety’s own Executive Music Editor Shirley Halperin at the Pollstar Live! 2018 conference in February. Other confirmed speakers for the conference Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, WME head of music Marc Geiger, UTA’s head of U.S. music operations Natalia Nastaskin and more.As Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services — reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook — Cue oversees Apple’s content stores, including two platforms...
A 27-year veteran of Apple, Cue is the company’s point man for all content-related efforts. Reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook, he has a wide purview that includes oversight of the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Maps, Apple Pay, iCloud and Siri. But in recent years all eyes have been focused on what he is working on with regard to the company’s long-anticipated move into original series production, where it could conceivably challenge Netflix and Amazon.
The rumor mill went into overdrive in 2016 when Apple got off to a modest start, greenlighting the reality-competition series “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” based on James Corden’s “Late Late Show” celeb singalong segments. A scripted series from Beats co-principal Dr. Dre was also rumored to be in the works.
But any uncertainty as to the ambition of Apple’s plans evaporated in June when Cue hired Sony Pictures TV producers Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to begin building a slate of originals that will reportedly cost $1 billion. While still nowhere near as much as its rivals are spending per year on original programming, Cue sent unambiguous signal after years of mixed signals that Apple is ready to play in this space for the long haul.
If Cue ever decides to leave the Apple fold, he’ll be well set. In September, he received nearly $60 million in Apple stock. Two months later, a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commissioned revealed that he had cashed out more than $37 million of his company holdings.