Apple Music is a long-term play, says SVP Eddy Cue

Apple SVP Eddy Cue brushed off questions regarding how many Apple Music users would stick with the service after a free trial period expires, and said the company is keen to address roaming fees for iPhone users.

In an interview with the London-based Evening Standard newspaper, Cue admitted the company is unsure if the pending end of a free three-month trial of Apple Music will result in a drop in user numbers.

Apple has reportedly signed up around 11 million users to the music streaming service since it was first unveiled in June. However, its first batch of free trials is about to expire, prompting speculation that user numbers could fall as customers will then be required to subscribe to the service at a cost of $9.99 (€8.94) per month for an individual user, or $14.99 for a family plan covering up to six people.

Cue told the Evening Standard that the music service is a long-term play, and appeared critical of a focus on the short term.

The company recently announced the expansion of Apple Music into China, where it will also promote the service with free trials before charging a monthly fee.

Cue also revealed Apple is looking at ways of addressing international roaming fees -- something he admitted was close to his heart given he was speaking while in London.

The Apple executive said the company was making some progress towards addressing high call and data roaming costs, but noted that there are many stakeholders who must be convinced of the benefits of cutting the prices that consumers pay.

Cue was interviewed as the first reviews of Apple's latest iPhone smartphones were published.

While The Guardian said the latest iPhone 6s Plus showed little or no difference to its predecessor, the iPhone 6 Plus, Engadget and ITPro reviewers were more positive, noting the latest phablet and its accompanying iPhone 6s smartphone are significantly different despite looking similar to their predecessors.

Apple revealed in late September that it had sold at least 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones in the first three days that the devices were available, and detailed plans to expand availability into five new markets including Italy, Spain and Russia on Oct. 9.

For more:
- see this Evening Standard article
- view the Apple Music launch announcement
- view this Guardian iPhone 6s Plus review
- see Engadget's take on the new devices
- read this ITPro review
- read Apple's iPhone sales statement

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