Oliver Schusser, who now heads up Apple Music, recently sat down with Billboard to give some insight into how ‌Apple Music‌ works and his plans for ‌Apple Music‌'s future.

Schusser, who has been with Apple for 15 years, was promoted to Head of Global Operations for ‌Apple Music‌ back in April 2018, reporting directly to ‌Apple Music‌ chief Eddy Cue.

oliverschusser
At a time when there was internal strife over Jimmy Iovine's move to an advisory role and stress over slowing iPhone sales, Schusser was responsible for dissolving the "internal divide of the Iovine era" and bringing renewed energy to ‌Apple Music‌, according to sources that spoke to Billboard. From Rachel Newman, global senior director of editoral at ‌Apple Music‌ and one of Schusser's employees:

"He knows more about most people's teams than they do themselves, in a good way. He knows people's birthdays. He just has the capacity to deal with the human side of being a leader, as much as he does the strategic and commercial sides. That is what makes him phenomenal."

When he took over ‌Apple Music‌, Schusser appointed trusted confidantes to lead new ‌Apple Music‌ initiatives and he created new editorial, artist relations, and music publishing divisions to "take better advantage of Apple's long-standing artist relationships."

He also aimed to introduce updates to ‌Apple Music‌ more frequently, debuting top 100 charts and new personalized playlists over the course of the last year, and he established partnerships with American Airlines, Verizon, and Amazon to boost subscriber growth. Record labels are happy with the changes that Schusser has implemented, and have called Apple more open and engaging under his leadership.

One thing that's not changing is Apple's focus on curation. Apple is at the "crossroads between the liberal arts and technology," says Schusser, and it's important to have a human element when it comes to recommendations.

"That's just not the way we look at the world," continues Schusser. "We really do believe that we have a responsibility to our subscribers and our customers to have people recommend what a playlist should look like and who the future superstars are."

Schusser says that he is optimistic about the future, and that Apple is "feeling really good" about where the service is today, four years after it launched.

Other people have had a lot more experience, a lot more time to test things and to learn, and we've caught up really fast. We look at ourselves as an artist-first company, and we want to be the best partners for labels, publishers and songwriters. We're working with the product and engineering team on our vision and the future for the product. If you do all of these things, the rest will follow."

Billboard's full profile on Schusser can be read over on the Billboard website.

Top Rated Comments

Mactendo Avatar
29 months ago
it's important to have a human element when it comes to recommendations.

"We really do believe that we have a responsibility to our subscribers and our customers to have people recommend what a playlist should look like and who the future superstars are."
Curation can be a good and bad thing, depending on who curators are. It looks like there are too many rappers and hip-hoppers in those future superstars.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Brenster Avatar
29 months ago
Curation can be a good and bad thing, depending on who curators are. It looks like there are too many rappers and hip-hoppers in those future superstars.
I’m assuming Shusser is at least in part responsible for bringing Deutsche Grammophon classical label on board last year to curate their own content and playlists, which has been an ongoing joy to explore and listen. Whilst, yes, the Browse section of Apple Music is overwhelmingly urban/hip hop and the like, there are some fantastic curators for other genres on the service.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rojaaemon Avatar
29 months ago
This is very helpful, because when I ask Siri "Who heads up Apple Music?" the reply is "I don't know what you mean by 'Who heads up Apple Music.'"

And when I ask "Who is the head of Apple Music?" the reply is "Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple."
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
funandblindness Avatar
29 months ago
Curation can be a good and bad thing, depending on who curators are. It looks like there are too many rappers and hip-hoppers in those future superstars.
This is an old and tired argument. Hip hop and rap are very popular genres. Spend a little time interacting with Apple Music and it will never show you Kanye or Drake again.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Classie Avatar
29 months ago
Really love the part about him knowing birthdays and other personal things - it’s great working for someone how cares
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mactendo Avatar
29 months ago
This is very helpful, because when I ask Siri "Who heads up Apple Music?" the reply is "I don't know what you mean by 'Who heads up Apple Music.'"

And when I ask "Who is the head of Apple Music?" the reply is "Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple."
- Siri, what's the weather going to be like today?
- Tim Cook.
- Siri, what are you tal...
- Tim Cook.
- Siri, where's...
- Tim Cook.
- Siri, when...
- Tim Cook.
- Siri!
- Tim Cook.
- Tim Cook?
- Tim Cook.

:D

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
ryanscoolios13thumbnail

Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

Tuesday October 15, 2019 10:09 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September. The iOS and iPadOS 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update....
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
maxresdefault

Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak Discuss iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, Privacy, Shortcuts on Mac, and More

Saturday June 12, 2021 6:12 am PDT by
As is tradition, Apple executives Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber in an episode of The Talk Show to discuss several announcements that Apple made over this weeks WWDC, including iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and a large focus around privacy. Federighi kicks off the conversation discussing the common architecture, now thanks to Apple silicon, across all of...