Apple Music has surpassed 40 million subscribers — than it had a month ago but still at least 30 million fewer than Spotify — while it announced a new worldwide head of the service Wednesday.
Apple Music confirmed Oliver Schusser will oversee the streaming-music service as the vice president of Apple Music and International Content, reporting to software and services chief Eddy Cue. In the role, he’ll also oversee Apple’s services outside the US, including the App Store and iTunes.
Apple didn’t comment on whether the appointment changes Jimmy Iovine’s responsibilities. Iovine, a longtime music executive who joined Apple when the company acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, helped launch Apple Music the following year, but his role as a public face for the service has diminished in the last year, and he’s expected to either leave or reduce his role at Apple Music significantly this summer, according to reports.
Apple resisted the subscription-music model for years as its iTunes service dominated sales of digitally downloaded music. But as streaming grew to become the main way people listen and pay for music today, Apple launched Apple Music in 2015 and quickly ramped it up, overtaking competitors by quickly amassing subscribers. Spotify, however, remains the biggest streaming music service.
Spotify had 71 million subscribers at the end of last year.
Most recently at Apple, Schusser led the company’s international content team, handling the overseas launch and expansion of projects like Apple Music, the App Store, iTunes Movies, iTunes TV, iBooks, Apple News and Apple Podcasts. He has been handling label, studio and publisher relations outside the US. He joined Apple in 2004, and previously worked at Bertelsmann, Universal, Napster and Vodafone.
Variety first reported the news.
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