Oliver Schusser named new Apple Music chief as service passes 40 million subscribers

“Apple Music is thinking globally as the streaming service officially surpasses 40 million paid subscribers,” Shirley Halperin reports for Variety. “Today, the company announced the promotion of Oliver Schusser to lead Apple Music Worldwide. His new title is vice president of Apple Music & International Content.”

“Schusser has led efforts outside the U.S. related to the App Store, iTunes’ movies and TV portals, iBooks, Apple Podcasts, and more,” Halperin reports. “He has worked closely with Apple svp of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, who hired Schusser some 14 years ago and also announced his promotion to staff earlier this morning (April 11).”

“With Oliver’s promotion, Apple marketing executive Tracey Hannelly will lead International, which services 155 markets,” Halperin reports. “Also in Cue’s memo, obtained by Variety, was the latest subscription milestone achieved by the three-year-old service. Apple Music now counts more than 40 million paid subscribers in 115 countries.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It continues to amaze us that convincing people to have access to an immense library of recorded music for a relative pittance remains such a long hard slog. That said, inexorably, Apple Music rises to the top!

Apple Music has rendered Spotify’s future decidedly dimmer.

The best customers are those who pay. As demonstrated by years of data, form disparate sources, those paying customers are also significantly more likely to be iPhone owners than those who’ve settled for poor iPhone facsimiles. A healthy portion of these coveted customers will leave Spotify for Apple’s comprehensive offering which offers better family rates, more music, likely exclusives, and seamless integration across all Apple devices. It’ll even work with crappy Windows PCs and Android phones eventually (not that those are likely to be Spotify’s paying customers, but whatever, some of them will join Apple Music and maybe even graduate to Apple devices because of it).

Spotify could quickly be left with an unprofitable system, with a dwindling music library because they cannot afford to pay music royalties. — MacDailyNews, June 9, 2015

Spotify is a poor man’s Apple Music. The demographics in this race, as ever, greatly favor Apple in the long run. — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

You’d have to be stupid to subscribe to Spotify when it has 33% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 45 million songs; Spotify has a mere subset of just 30 million. Don’t be stupid. If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)MacDailyNews, February 6, 2017

Apple Music hits 40 million paid subscribers milestone – April 4, 2018
Apple Music hits 38 million paid subscribers – March 12, 2018
Apple Music expands student membership pricing to 82 new countries – February 13, 2018
Apple Music poised to knock off Spotify – February 12, 2018
Apple Music was always going to win – February 6, 2018
Apple Music on track to overtake Spotify, become No. 1 streaming service in U.S. this summer – February 4, 2018
Apple Music and Spotify now account for the majority of music consumption in the UK – January 3, 2018
Spotify files for its IPO – January 3, 2018
Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher – January 2, 2018
Apple Music passes Pandora and Spotify in mobile usage – March 29, 2017
Spotify hits 50 million paid subscribers – March 3, 2017
Apple Music surpasses 20 million paid members 17 months after launch – December 6, 2016
Oh ok, Spotify listeners are upgrading to Apple Music – July 19, 2015
Spotify CEO claims to be ‘ok’ with Apple Music – June 9, 2015


  1. I used to think it was better to digitally own the music I liked, because I already physically owned the music I liked. Then the music I liked changed. Now I have a collection of CDs and AAC files from decades ago, 25% of which I still enjoy. Faced with the prospect of making large purchases to create a new collection (that I’ll inevitably no longer enjoy in 10-20 years) it just makes sense to stream today what I like today. I’m convinced that I will actually save money this way in the long run… and along the way I’ll be listening to literally every song I could possibly desire without walls or limits. Sweet.

    1. I disagree about ownership of music but that’s a personal decision. I’ll bet my digitized collection has tracks that Apple will never offer. You might be able to get the new digitally enhanced, pitch-corrected, computer drum machine disco pop R&B sampled dance club remix featuring a pop tart of the moment, but I might actually have the real original blues tune performed by the original artist. Apple won’t let you find the original because it’s just not important to them. Once they get everyone hooked on subscriptions, there will be even less incentive to support legacy music that according to their marketing nobody listens to. Your musical tastes will continue to be melded by Apple and the labels, rather than your own instincts.

      Short story: A recent episode of Sound Opinions, which is a very insightful music discovery podcast from Chicago, reviewed the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street”. It revealed the real story of how that album was made, including the fact that while Keith Richards, Graham Parsons, and their druggy friends did establish a new unvarnished sound blending blues & rock & country influences in their French country house, they also did a significan amount of recording in Los Angeles, where Mick Jagger attended church services and recruited gospel singers and jazz musicians like Dr. John and others.

      If you asked Apple Music to put together a playlist including the Rolling Stones, I guarantee it would never include a 1972 gospel singer. It would not have a Dr. John New Orleans-soaked jazz song included. It wouldn’t bother to make the connection to artists who directly cited Exile on Mainstreet as an influence, like the Clash’s London Calling. Apple only recognizes 15 Rolling Stones tunes, and obviously if you ask for 1960-s-70’s British rock, then you must want to listen only to Clapton, Beatles, Stones, and Byrds. Maybe the Hollies, but certainly not the Jam. Apple Music, like US radio stations in America, doesn’t even know who other British artists of the era are. Great artists like Paul Weller would never even appear on the US Apple Music playlist pushes. You would have to spend a lifetime specifically requesting it. I find it easier to type in the name of a composer, artist, or album and play it from my own collection.

      1. #1, it’s Gram Parsons.
        #2, Dr. John, while his style is influenced by New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz, overwhelmingly plays in the R&B, Blues, and Rock and Roll genres.
        #3, I own terabytes of music as well, but it’s now much more affordable for me to use Apple Music to discover music, especially new music. I’m album oriented, so I can find just about album I want from Dr. John’s Gris Gris to the Gilded Palace of Sin by the Flying Burrito Brothers, and everything in between. Playlists aren’t important to me, so I am not having any troubles at all finding what I want on Apple Music, whether it’s new or old.
        #4, Paul Weller is harshly underrated in the United States. I agree he is a great artist.

        1. I just asked Siri to “Play songs by Paul Weller” and got the songs from the Album 22 Dreams followed up by Saturns Pattern. There’s also 4 playlists of his music across different albums plus one for music inspired by Paul Weller AND one for music that influenced Paul Weller. I’ll be sending some of these as links to a friend of mine that also has Apple Music and they’ll be able to enjoy them as well. Couldn’t be easier to find and enjoy music I’ve not heard before. Thanks 🙂

          My music tastes have always been very broad such that I had to pick and choose what I actually spent money on. With Apple Music, I can listen to high quality versions of whatever interests me. I can indulge those passing interests in Yo Yo Ma and Quiet Riot!

          1. love Paul Weller both in The Jam and in his Style Council days.

            Mikes point is valid though. Weller isn’t popular enough to come up on Apple Music unless you specifically request him. That makes Apple Music a really poor place for music discovery. Used to be much more fun and educational to make music associations at record shops.

            1. If you already listen to music by Style Council or groups LIKE them, I’d guess you’d have Weller come up since some of their algorithms are based on what songs other people group together in their playlists. I can say that Weller and Rolling Stones are both FAR more well known than some of the artists that have ended up on some of my stations 🙂 If your main genres are rap and classical, I doubt you’ll find much Weller suggested to you.

              I don’t think anyone’s saying that you should depend on Apple Music to find new music, though. After discovering new music via record shops, coffee shops, at work, or even here on MDN, the most important part of that discovery is listening to it and Apple Music makes the acquisition relatively instant regardless of where you are. Even if you don’t have a data plan, use the Notes app (or pencil and paper, or chisel and stone) to write it down and look for it once you get access. If you like the one song, you can then stream their entire library (if it’s been made available) without spending any more than your monthly subscription.

              As I mention further down, if your music library is fairly static in that you don’t spend more than $9 a month on new music, then Apple Music is likely not worth it just for streaming. However, for those that want to experience random new music every month (some of it curated), it saves money. AND you can STILL go out into the real world, engage with people and discover new music that way as well.

      2. “Apple won’t let you find the original”
        I’m not sure I follow, if it’s available digitally on Apple Music, a title search will bring it up. It may bring up all 14 other versions, but I’ve not had problem finding original versions of songs that are on Apple Music. That’s of course, assuming the original is ON Apple Music. It may just be on iTunes, but that’s down to who own the rights and whether the rights offered to Apple includes streaming.

  2. “It continues to amaze us that convincing people to have access to an immense library of recorded music”.

    I use a prepaid card without mobile data. It costs me approximately $8 and I get 250 minutes a month that I can use for calls. By the end of the month I still have about 170-180 minutes left. I also have a music library of 7.8 terabytes. Please tell me why I need Apple Music, or, for that matter, Spotify. What I mean to say is that not all Apple customers have the same needs. Why is that so difficult to comprehend?

    1. I don’t suppose anyone NEEDS Apple Music. Some people own all the music they’ll ever own and won’t be getting anything new OR, they get new music, but it’s one or two albums a year, tops.
      I think the people that will get the most value from it are those that would easily spend $10 a month on new music (not new to the world, new to them). It’s cost effective AND you don’t have to store the physical media. 🙂

  3. My wish list:

    Create a station based on a playlist.
    Being able to see/edit the songs I liked in a station.
    Being able to manually add a paticular song as a like to a station.
    Ability to organize my playlist in folders.

    And lastly, but will never happen, automatically add songs from a playlist I subscribe to to one of my own playlist whenever the subscribed to playlist is updated.

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