Apple’s values are now aligned with those of Tim Cook. Taylor Swift’s letter and Apple Music fiasco illustrate that he needs to be more assertive.
I believe Apple is the best pro-consumer company in the world, creating products with care and quality that delights most of us.
It’s clear Apple had two choices – cut a deal with the music industry that makes business sense for the company spread the risk of the 3 months free trial around or pay for it themselves.
I got the feeling that the former is what Steve Jobs would have done and Tim Cook the latter. Eddy Cue, one of Jobs’ most trusted lieutenant before his passing, probably argued that this was the way Apple always does business and wanted to keep the status quo.
The reason why I believe Tim Cook would have wanted the deal done as it is now, is because he is someone who stands for fairness and equality in all aspects of life. Many of the points Taylor Swift made would have resonated with Cook, not some much Steve Jobs.
Telling, Eddy Cue revealed that prior to Taylor Swift’s post, he was in discussion with Tim Cook over the matter. He also acknowledges that Swift’s views “solidified” their decision. I would say it tipped the scales in Tim Cook’s favour.
“We had originally negotiated these deals based on paying them a higher royalty rate on an ongoing basis to compensate for this brief time,” Eddy Cue told Billboard. “But when I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that’s why we decided we will now pay artists during the trial period and we’ll also keep the royalty rate at the higher rate.”
“Tim [Cook] and myself can make decisions very, very quickly by talking to each other,” Eddy Cue explained when pressed on how the decision was made. “It was something we had already been discussing for the past week.”
Here are my questions.
Why did it take a letter from a pop star to convince Eddy Cue that this was the right thing to do? And more importantly, what influence does Tim Cook has over the likes of Cue, Ive and Schiller?
While reading this fiasco on Sunday, I felt that it was not only Apple’s reputation and values that were at risk, but also those of Tim Cook. This illustrates that this is Tim Cook’s Apple and as CEO, he needs to be more assertive in these situations to keep it that way.
Image Credit: BusinessInsider