Eddy Cue insists Apple’s TV streaming service isn’t too late

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Eddy Cue
Eddy Cue is the boss of Apple's Services division.
Photo: CNBC

Apple has some big designs on television with its Apple TV+ service. But Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services, admits the company didn’t have much expertise on the subject of TV when it started its latest project.

That’s now changed, Cue says, and Apple is focused on “creating the best” content possible. And he doesn’t think it’s left it too late, either.

Cue’s interview with the U.K. newspaper The Times touches on a few Apple TV+ topic. He says that Apple is focused on “creating the best” content, rather than “creating the most.” This comes across a little bit like a shot at Netflix, who are mentioned as employing a different strategy. However, Cue holds off on making it a full-blown attack. He says:

“Their motto is to create a lot of content so there’s always something for you to watch, and it’s working really well. There’s nothing wrong with that model, but it’s not our model.”

Cue also takes issue with the suggestion that Apple has left it too late to get into TV streaming. He notes that Apple has very rarely been the first to any market:

“We weren’t the first smartphone ever made. We weren’t the first computer ever made. We weren’t the first tablet ever made. We try to be the best, and we don’t have to be the first to be the best.”

Seeking the expertise they need

On the subject of expertise, Cue talks about how Apple hired ex-Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to get the knowledge they needed. He note:

“Look, we don’t know a lot about television other than we are big consumers of it, but that doesn’t quite qualify you as an expert by any means. The thing that we’re smart about is when we don’t know about something we want to get into, we go and find the best people for it … One of the great things with Jamie and Zack is they’ve got incredible taste.”

Cue additionally described The Morning Show, the series with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell. The stars appeared at Apple’s February keynote event, which made it look like a comedy show. However, Cue says that it’s more of a drama than a comedy. He also notes that, “on the quality bar, it is really, really good.”

Cue then answers some brief quick-fire questions. He praises Beats One radio, choosing it over British or U.S. radio. (Of course.) He prefers ebooks over physical books. (Again, not much of a surprise.) He also says that he’s watched more Carpool Karaoke than Game of Thrones.

The most interesting answer is Cue correcting a rumor that he likes “power naps” during meetings. “I don’t,” he says.

Apple’s focus on privacy

While most of the interview is focused on Apple TV+, Cue also discusses privacy. This is a topic that Apple has been particularly focused on pushing during Tim Cook’s reign at Apple. But Cue notes that it’s been something Apple has long been interested in. (Which is absolutely correct.)

“[I]f you go back and listen to Steve — and you can look yourself on YouTube — privacy and security were always critical in his mind about Apple,” he says. “We’ve always tried to make sure that we’re not taking any data that we don’t have to, and in the cases where we have to, we’re always trying to eliminate it later. I think nobody really paid attention that much in the past. Now, obviously, people are paying attention.”

Source: Times