Eddy Cue on Apple’s Year in Services and Original Content

Eddy Cue, in a rare personally-signed post to Apple Newsroom (“Thoughts on Services”?):

At Apple, we have the privilege of partnering with creators of all kinds, while building products and services that enable even more creativity. Our mission has always been to enrich people’s lives and to leave the world better than we found it, and we know that takes more than technical skill. It requires leading with our values in everything we do. We believe that our products and services should be made for everyone. We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right, and that our highest obligation to our customers is security. We believe that a culture where everybody belongs can drive innovation, and that we must stand up for the change we want to see in the world.

When we started Apple TV+ a few years ago, we did so to tell stories that reflect our broader humanity. And whether it was CODA winning the Oscar for Best Picture or Ted Lasso winning back-to-back Emmys for Best Comedy, we have seen, in so many ways, the validation of this kind of storytelling and the strong desire for more of it.

Apple’s services initiatives are multivariate, but the overall quality of Apple TV+ content is an unsung story. Apple started on awkward footing with Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke as their initial original content releases — but it makes sense that they started with low-stakes reality shows. At this point Apple has established a quality-over-quantity track record with their original shows and movies. The average Apple TV+ show/movie is good. I don’t think that’s true for any other streaming service except HBO, and even for HBO, the “Max” content has watered down their quality considerably. To my thinking, that’s exactly the right strategy and execution for Apple: quality and mainstream appeal above all else.

(Reading between the lines, I can’t help but wonder if this no-news-just-an-update post from Cue is related, timing-wise, to the weekend news that longtime Cue lieutenant and possible successor Peter Stern has left Apple. My read is that the point of this post is “Fuck you, I’m Eddy Cue, and I’m not going anywhere.”)

Tuesday, 10 January 2023